Dana Miles, an English teacher at Washington State School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Vancouver, has been named Washington State’s 2023 Teacher of the Year.

Miles taught at the School for the Deaf for six years, primarily in bilingual language arts: a class that combines the use of English and American Sign Language to guide students through hands-on scenarios outside of from the classroom such as using public transport and finding accommodation.

As a member of the deaf community, Miles specializes in helping students transition from school to adult life through the school’s work experience program.

“The work Ms. Miles does to prepare her students for the world after high school is phenomenal,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal said in a press release shared Monday morning. “The way she makes her students’ learning applicable to their lives and the use of real-life contexts sets them up for success after high school in a variety of ways.”

“Self-advocacy benefits all students from all walks of life,” Miles said. “I am passionate about seeing my students develop self-advocacy skills because those skills will take them far in life.”

Miles will then be considered for the national teacher of the year award. The winner will be announced next spring.