TALLMADGE -- Dunbar Primary School teacher Becky Miller has been selected by the National Education Association to be a trainer for its Bullying and Sexual Harassment Prevention and Intervention Program, for which she'll travel around the country training teachers and educational support professionals on how to identify and prevent bullying.
The second-grade teacher, who has been an instructor with Tallmadge City Schools for 17 years, said she's "privileged" to have been chosen for this role.
"I am thrilled to say I have been selected as a cadre trainer. I am so proud and honored to represent Tallmadge, the North Eastern Ohio Education Association, Ohio Education Association and the National Education Association in this important work," she said.
According to Miller, the NEA has several different cadres, each of which consists of trained educators who travel around the U.S. to train other educators in their area of specialty.
After securing recommendations and references from high-ranking individuals in these professional organizations, she applied for the position last December.
The NEA's Human and Civil Rights Department reviewed the applications, and 10 educators from across the country were chosen as candidates. They were invited to a week-long training session in Chicago last July.
At the end of the week, each candidate partnered with another to practice and present portions of the program's curriculum to the veteran and current cadre members and the other candidates. Eight of the 10 candidates were selected as new members, who have committed to being a trainer for three years. Miller is the only new trainer from Ohio.
By being a trainer, Miller said she hopes educators who attend the trainings will know what to do when they encounter bullying and sexual harassment at their schools. That way, students will be able to grow socially, emotionally and academically, she said.
"I have one of the best jobs, and this is a way for me to use my leadership skills in a new capacity and help better our profession," she said.
Bullying in Tallmadge Schools
According to data released by district in November, there were no bullying incidents reported at Dunbar Primary.
Still, Miller said no school is immune to bullying.
Ten incidents were recorded at Tallmadge Middle School, and nine were confirmed. While five were documented at Munroe Elementary School and three at Tallmadge High School, only one incident was confirmed at each.
Educators interested in having trainers visit their schools for free can go to nea.org/bullyfree and request an application. Training can be done not only for educators but also can include parents and community members, such as police officers and firefighters, Miller said.
"The research shows that just one caring adult can make all the difference in the life of a bullied student so together if we take a stand against bullying, it can be preventable," she said.