On National Principal Appreciation Day, we share appreciation for all of our administrators who make this school a family, and this year, we would like to pay special tribute to Cherokee’s Principal, Mr. Miller, who will be moving on to new endeavors next year as the new principal at River Ridge High School. Additionally, we would like to follow up with another tribute to beloved Assistant Principal, Mr. Howell, as he prepares for retirement.
I recently interviewed Mr. Miller and asked some questions about his time here at Cherokee. He was also able to give his final message to students and faculty.
What is your background in education? Why did you want to become a principal?
I started my career in education at Miramar High School in Broward County, Florida running a PLATO Credit Recovery Lab and Head Baseball Coach. After two years at Miramar, I moved to Pasco County, Florida where I worked at James Ervin Alternative Education Center where I served four years and taught Emotional Handicapped students and Coached Baseball at Pasco County High School.
My next move was to Tampa, Florida where I landed a position as a Special Education teacher serving Emotional Handicapped students and Baseball Coach for four Years. My family decided to make a move from Tampa back home where I took a position at Sequoyah High School where I served as a Special Education Teacher and coached baseball. In my 13 years at Sequoyah, I served as a teacher, Special Education Department Chair, Assistant Principal over Career Teach, Athletic Director.
In 2015, I moved from Sequoyah to Cherokee as Principal, I have served as Principal of Cherokee the past five years and have enjoyed every minute. I will be leaving Cherokee at the end of May to take over as principal of River Ridge High School for the 2020-2021 school year.
We know that this job description does not encompass all you’re responsible for at this school. How would you describe what types of things principals and assistant principals do?
The Principal and the administrative team are responsible for everything that goes on inside and outside the building on our campus. I have always felt that my number one job is to make sure that our staff and students have a safe and secure educational environment to attend on a daily basis.
We also want to make sure that our teachers are providing meaningful instruction in order to help educate and prepare you for a successful future, no matter where that may take you.
What were some of your most memorable moments as a principal at CHS?
Being Principal at the Flagship school for the district has truly been an honor. I mean we are the largest and most diverse high school in the district and for me that will always be memorable.
Did you imagine yourself becoming principal when you were in high school?
I can tell you when I was a high school student, never in a million years would I have expected to become a High School principal, but I can assure you I am honored and feel very blessed that I have been given the opportunity to serve as principal of Cherokee High School, you know the saying #Onceawarrioralwaysawarrior 🙂
Mr. Miller, we know you are transitioning to another school, but will always be a Warrior at heart. What are some of the events, memories, etc that have made you proud to be a Warrior?
Wow that is a tough one, the students over the past five years have really been amazing. I tell my colleagues how our students are just so genuine. Our Warrior teams have excelled over the years with our girls basketball making the State Final Four back-to-back, boys basketball winning its first Region Championship–those are just a few of the many that stick out.
We know the virus disrupted the school’s chance to celebrate you before you leave. Is there any message you’d like to leave us with?
To the class of 2020, I cant tell you the feelings I have felt for each of you, my heart truly hurts as I know that your senior year was abruptly cut short with the pandemic of COVID-19. I realize that many senior athletes played, your last high school sporting event with absolutely no closure or end to your season. I realize that your Prom was stripped away from you, and ultimate day that all families wait to enjoy “Graduation”, as I am writing, I am optimistic that we Cherokee High Seniors, Administrators, Faculty and your families will be able to meet again in order to Graduate and says our goodbyes. Regardless, I want you to know, I have been honored to serve as your Principal and will truly miss you and wish each and every one of you success as you move on to the next chapter of your life. #onceawarrioralwaysawarrior
We thank both Mr. Miller and Mr. Howell for their work at Cherokee, and know they will remain Warriors always. They have had such a large influence on our school. We wish them best at whatever comes next!