Courtesy of Giselle Miller.
Art teacher Giselle Miller helps kindergartener Archie Dunbar make a fish print.

Haines School art teacher Giselle Miller received the 2021 Arts Educator Champion Award on April 7. She will officially be announced the winner on April 15 at the “Alaska’s Heart through Student Art Show.” In past years, the event has been hosted in-person in Juneau, but this year it will be virtual.

The Alaska Arts Education Consortium hosts this competition annually. The AAEC has four designated categories for artists. The AAEC describes the winner of this award as a teacher who “exemplifies the impact arts education can have on children and youth.”

Administrative assistant Tiana Perry-Traudt nominated Miller for the award.

“Giselle is an amazing teacher and artist,” said Perry-Traudt, “And the students and staff in Haines love her.”

Perry-Traudt provided the AAEC with many examples of how Miller spreads the importance of art. Perry-Traudt said one of Miller’s greatest accomplishments was her organization of the origami cranes after December’s landslide. More than 1,000 colorful cranes were hung throughout the school–they could be found taped to walls or hanging from ceilings.

“We did origami right after the landslide and well into January,” said Miller. “All levels of students were doing the origami and they were put up all in the school as a remembrance for Jenae (Larson) and David (Simmons).”

Miller was also recognized for creating an online art show and making artistic videos last spring during the COVID-19 lockdown. She said she created these videos to help explain art projects for students stuck at home. These can be found on her YouTube channel Glacier Bear Art Room.

At the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, Miller tie-dyed the white cloth masks the school was providing for students.

“We tie-dyed so many masks. I don’t even know how many we did,” said Miller. “All the students were given three masks and I did it with students first through twelfth grade. I did this at the beginning of the year.”

Miller said she plans on publishing a website in May to display students’ work from this school year. The website will be accessible through

Miller is the second Haines teacher to receive the Arts Educator award. The previous art teacher Linnus Danner won the award her final year of teaching in 2019.

More information about the AAEC can be found at