By: Skyler Stanford
If you are a student, or family member of someone in the Saratoga Springs City School District the name Michael Miller should ring a bell. Following his call to teaching, he has been cultivating young minds in the subject of history for over eighteen years. His devotion to young people cannot only be seen through his nature and his respect for all students but also through the other youth activities he’s involved in. He has been the advisor of the student council for sixteen years where he backed events like the Pep Rally and Spring Fest that focus on bringing students together. Additionally, he is president of Saratoga Springs Teachers Association and has been the chaperone coordinator for all student athletes at the high school for twelve years. With a bitter-sweet goodbye, as of the seventeenth of March, 2017, he is the new principal of Galway Junior/Senior High School.
For most students, Mr. Miller is known for his unmistakable gift for teaching. Miller scores well on “Rate My Teacher,” despite the website’s unreliability. He has a 4.2 out of 5 stars. When asked why he thinks he’s so beloved by his students, he responded, “I think my students can tell that this has never been a job for me; this is what I do. This is who I am.”
Throughout his many years of teaching, Miller has never wavered from his love for learning and engaging students in class. His respect and attention to the needs of young people exceeded the walls of his classroom as reported by student council members and class officers. “He is very approachable…he was always there with advice,” said Danny Bonsangue, 2017 Class Secretary. Many students repeated Bonsangue’s remarks. They too could tell that Mr. Miller cared about them.
“He taught us aspects of leadership and service to our community and school…he, himself serves the community in everything he does,” said Hunter Choy. If you ask any student that had him how his classes were, they will recall his dedication and the lasting impression he left on the students. For Miller the feeling is mutual. “I just love teaching. My greatest accomplishment is working with eighteen years worth of wonderful students who have not only had an impact on me but make me confident on where we’ll go in the future,” Miller said.
Seeing that he was so involved in so many aspects of the community, his leaving my be more troubling to some more than others. Rest assured, though, he and the people he’s leaving in charge are confident in their ability to pick up from where he left off. “We took care of the major planning for the rest of the year….we’ve become a solid team,” said Choy.
Mr. Miller himself confirmed this. “In my little time that I was able to do what I did, I did it to the best of my ability and I’m confident that others will follow and do it to the best of theirs,” said Miller. Although, many are willing to fill his positions the special excitement and energy that he brought to school everyday will be missed dearly. “I’m a little sad that he’s leaving but I’m happy that he’s moving towards his dream of becoming a to principal” said William Sorel, student council Public Relations officer.
Mr. Miller is excited to become a principal; he recalls it as something he’s wanted since his senior year in high school. I want to take the philosophy I have in my classroom and put it to running a school..,” said Miller. He is constantly expressing his desire to bring the community together and he believes it can be done in the already tight-knit community of Galway. He wants to be the head of an administration that is “Transparent, [where there are] clear-lines of communication, mutual respect and understanding, great spirit, and the desire to not only work for individual goals but for group goals.”
Galway is lucky to be receiving such a motivated and goal driven individual and he will be deeply missed by the students and staff at Saratoga.