Among several changes to the new year comes a new vision for the future of students, faculty, and parents.
“My vision for Southside is that it’s a place where students want to come and where they feel like they belong. I want us to have academic success and I want kids to have met their individual goals,” Miller said.
Before coming to Southside, Miller taught science, social studies, and math in Fort Smith public schools Kimmons Jr. High and Ramsey Jr. High. Miller also became the first principal at Van Buren Freshman Academy where she worked for the last six years.
“What we did [at freshman academy] is we talked about the importance of credits, the importance is graduation and how we get there. If all of our students can learn how to develop goals along with how to get to graduation and what they want to do after that then it’s huge accomplishment for us,”Miller said.
Before Miller became principal at Southside she first gained knowledge about the school through a parents perspective. Miller has three children, each having graduated from different high schools. Her second child, Drew Miller, graduated Southside in 2011.
“Drew is the one who developed the best study habits and I felt like his teachers really taught him how to study so when he went to college he knew exactly what to do to break that course down. I always as a parent admired that but I didn’t know what brought it about. So now when I’m in and out of classrooms and I see the teachers working with kids it really helps me see how he developed those great study habits. It gives me a behind the scene perspective that I couldn’t see as a mom, but really appreciated as a parent,” Miller said.
Miller expresses having academic success as top priority but she also pushes for change within our student section and school spirit. With bringing themes including class colors, competitions against each grade and outdoor pep rallies Miller focuses on bringing spirit back.
“I would ask students what’s the best thing about Southside and they would always respond with teachers, and when I asked what needed to be worked on for the school every student said to work on school spirit,” Miller said.“If that’s what is important to the kids then that is what is important to me,
getting student input is how you make things better.”