Pollie Miller Receives Award
As one of only five Individual Achievement Awards recipients from the Ohio Local History Alliance, Pollie Young Miller stated in her acceptance speech, "It's wonderful to be recognized for something I loved to do, sharing my heritage and my city with children and getting them involved so that they will love it too." She recently retired after thirty years of teaching.
The awards ceremony took place in Worthington, Ohio on October 3 at the annual meeting of OHLA in Worthington, Ohio. The Alliance works in partnership with the Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society). A total of twenty-one awards were presented to historical societies, museums, libraries, publications and individuals from throughout the state for a variety of Ohio historical projects.
Rose Kandik nominated Miller on behalf of the Waterville Historical Society, praising her efforts to involve her third grade students in local history with museum visits, historical and architectural walking tours, participation in dedications of local historical markers and a naturalization ceremony as well as classroom assignments.
As a direct descendant of John Pray, Waterville's founder, "she has actively carried on his legacy by weaving our local history connections into the Ohio standards for Social Studies at her grade level," the nomination read. In support of the nomination, Chad Warnimont, Principal of Waterville Primary School wrote a letter to OLHA praising Mrs. Miller's many accomplishments. "She strives to help the students make a vivid connection with the community while developing community pride in each student," he said.
Each year her students have a fundraiser to purchase a memorial brick for the terrace in front of Wakeman Hall; 2015 saw the eighteenth brick added to the row of third grade bricks. This activity began when the Waterville Historical Society was in need of funds to restore the 1881 Masonic building they had purchased to save from demolition and use for programs and a local history archives.
In addition, Mrs. Miller involved her students in a mock council meeting and Public Works Day with the city's current council and employees shadowing them. When the village became a city in 2010, children competed in a contest to design the new city flag,
"My entry, 'Waterville: Then and Now' could not have happened without the support and interaction with the Waterville Historical Society, the City of Waterville, and my administration and fellow colleagues at Waterville Primary School . . . . I feel strongly that this is a shared award" Mrs. Miller told the audience at the awards ceremony.