Mr. Miller grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Fordham University earning his bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree from San Jose State University in School Administration. Mr. Miller originally wanted to pursue a career as an engineer until he experienced a life lesson in one of his physics classes, “One day one of the other students in the class asked ‘what makes you want to teach?’ and our physics professor said, and these words will never leave me, ‘There is no other job in the world which will pay you to show up and talk about what you love.” From then on, Mr. Miller said, “My junior year at Fordham I switched to education and after I graduated I began work at Teachers for America.” Teachers for America is a non-profit organization, based in New York, which specializes in training and placing new teachers in positions to succeed. After his stint at Teachers for America, Mr. Miller realized that he wasn’t truly prepared to become a full-time teacher, “I knew if I wanted to make the teaching thing work I needed to take a step back and really focus on just teaching. I was lucky enough to find a parochial school and worked there for roughly three to four years.” After that Mr. Miller decided to move out to San Jose, CA where he taught for a year at Piedmont Hills, four years at Overfelt High School in East San Jose and finally for 14 years at Sobrato High School, in Morgan Hill, for the last nine years he worked as the school’s assistant principal.
As for what brought him to Bellarmine, Mr. Miller revealed that his wife played a surprisingly large role, “I was really looking for a change from Sobrato (high school), my wife had just finished up her education degree and was looking for a job, when she popped on the Bellarmine Website and saw an opening for the Dean Position. The application actually closed the same day I applied, so I took a couple of hours and got all of the forms in. So, in short, my wife got me this job.” However, I also wanted to know why Mr. Miller wanted to come to Bellarmine. Mr. Miller took a moment to answer, until he said, “It is sort of personal and professional, I felt that I had lost contact with the deep faith I once had during high school and college. I’m not sure if I lost it through the various public schools that I worked at, but one of the big reasons why I wanted this job, was to grow and rekindle my faith.”
With Mr. Miller’s experience working at other schools, I was interested to hear his opinion on what makes Bellarmine unique, “A feeling that I have had every time I am on campus is that there is a deep calm and feeling of serenity as you walk through campus. It is a place for those of us that are here, are privileged to be here. It really is a little diamond in San Jose. People don’t expect it to be this nice, and even with students on campus, it is still peaceful. You wouldn’t expect with 1600 boys here that it would still be peaceful, but it is.”
For my final question I wanted Mr. Miller to truly speak to the students and describe the type of dean that he wants to be, he replied, “There was this old boxing referee, who said, ‘I’m firm but I’m fair.’ I am open to listening to the student’s point of view, and I understand that there are multiple sides to every story.” Mr. Miller also added what he wants the Dean’s to become, “we are not here just to discipline and hand out JUG’s, we (Ms. Pluth and Mr. Weger) want students to know that this is a place where students can come and receive help, whatever they need.” On top of that, he also detailed that the support will not cease when we graduate, “We are here to support you guys for the future and even when you guys graduate and become alumni. If you come back and need something, we hope to be here to help you.”
If you see Mr. Miller walking down the hallway, please introduce yourself to him and make him feel at home in the Bellarmine Community. He is also a New York Giants fan so don’t be afraid to console him after the tough losses that are on the horizon for this season.