A Marana teacher received a nice surprise — a $100 gift card and a teacher of the month designation.

Jennifer Miller, a third grade teacher at Marana Unified School District's Thornydale Elementary School, won the October Teacher of the Month award from Tucson Values Teachers and OfficeMax. Representatives gave her a $100 OfficeMax gift card Oct. 29.

 "Jennifer Miller is an amazing person and teacher, Thornydale principal Sarah Clem wrote in her nomination letter. "She focuses every minute of her day supporting student growth. Mrs. Miller builds relationships with every student. She prepares lessons that challenges and inspires her students to work hard, work together and achieve more. Mrs. Miller is a huge asset to our entire school."

Miller has been with the district since 2008. The school is located at 7651 N. Oldfather Drive.

To nominate a K-12 teacher for a teacher of the month honor, visit www.tucsonvaluesteachers.org/teaward.php?pg=31 online.

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at pvillarreal@azstarnet.com or 573-4130.