|New principal takes over at Oconee Middle School|
|Written by Mary Anne Carroll|
|Thursday, 12 July 2012|
The qualities she admires most in her mother and father are the same qualities Miller said she will strive to bring to her new job as principal at Oconee County Middle School.
“My parents gave me an example of leadership and serving,” Miller said. “I am very blessed to have that example.”
Miller brings to her new position not only the examples set by her parents, but also a strong foundation in education. After growing up in Cedartown, Georgia, she earned undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry from Shorter College. She went on to earn a Master’s degree in science education from the University of Georgia, followed by Specialist degree from Georgia State University. Her PhD also came from Georgia State.
Her first teaching job was taking over for a middle school science teacher who passed away in the middle of the school year. She then went to one of Gwinnett County’s sprawling high schools, Parkview, where she taught chemistry, physics and biology.
She stayed at Parkview for nine years before moving to another giant Gwinnett school, Snellville Middle, where she served as assistant principal for six years.
“There were 2,300 students at Snellville, and I was charge of the seventh grade, where there were 750 students,” she said.
Next, Miller moved to Forsyth County, where she worked for five years as the assistant principal at South Forsyth Middle School, a school she said was similar in size to OCMS.
With her three children grown and able to take care of themselves, Miller said she felt she was ready for a change and began looking for a job as a principal. She did a lot of research on school systems, and liked what she saw when studying Oconee County’s schools. So, when a position opened at OCMS, she applied for the job.
“Oconee had an opening and I thought it would be a great place to live and work,” she said.
In her previous roles as an administrator, Miller said she did everything from testing and discipline to working with gifted students and coordinating school safety. That experience, and her background as a science teacher, will play a large role in her position as OCMS principal.
Miller said she is especially devoted to providing the best safety for her students, and is already looking into ways to better secure the OCMS campus when work begins on widening Mars Hill Road.
“Academics are the most important part of a school, but children have to be safe in order to learn,’ she said.
Having taught science, she said she believes in a strong science program. She hopes, in the future, to be able to upgrade the science labs at OCMS to better serve the students.
“We have to be able to get our students ready for the rigorous science courses they will take in high school and college,” Miller said.
She said, because technology is playing a greater role in society, students and teachers will continue to have more technology in the classroom. OCMS is being wired this summer, she said, so technology can be better integrated daily in the classroom.
“Technology is not going away,” she said. “Having more technology in the classroom will mean we need more professional development for our teachers so they will be better able to utilize the technology that is available. Technology will, of course, bring some new problems, but it will also bring great opportunities for our students.”
Miller said, for the first few days of her new job, she has been getting tours of the school, meeting people in the school system, and settling in her office. She is also learning her way around the OCMS campus.
“I may have to take a map with me so I don’t get lost,” she joked.
Miller said she now plans to get busy building relationships with teachers, students, parents and the community.
“Building relationships is what I see as the most important part of my job,” she said. “We have to work together as a group, because it takes all of us to educate our students.”
Miller, who now lives in Suwanee, said she also looks forward to finding a home in Oconee County and settling down in the community.
“Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, but I plan to stay here,” Miller said. “I see myself being here for a while.”
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 July 2012 )|
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