Mr. Miller is CCCTC’s Teacher of the Year

Forestry II class studies a stand of trees.

What Mr. Miller says to a young man who takes Forestry because he wants to manage his own land is:

“Objectives are key to your management strategies. Whether you’re wanting to manage for wildlife or timber production, your goals are going to drive your management plan.”

Forestry II class studies a stand of trees.

The seventeen-year teaching veteran admits that he needed a new way to look at managing his teaching.

“I wasn’t really burned out, but I had gotten stale. When Leader in Me came along I felt like it was an answer to that. The strategies presented in the book are the same I grew up with. I just needed a new way to present that to the students in my classroom. My kids know that I’m a tell-it-like-it is kind of guy. I appreciate the new way Leader in Me has given me to say those old but still true things.”

Forestry II class studies a stand of trees.

Even on the bus ride to the stand of trees Mr. Miller’s students are assessing, the young men begin discussing being proactive. He asks, “What habit are we studying now?”

One answers, “Put first things first.”

Another adds, “Big rocks.”

“That’s right,” Mr. Miller smiles then quickly answers when he is asked, “One of my big rocks is family.”

Forestry II class studies a stand of trees.

Mr. Miller took Forestry when he went to Quitman High School. He remembers his teacher Mr. Fleming, and that class being at least one of the reasons he went to Jones College and Mississippi State University. He wanted to educate young people about the land, the rivers, the creeks, and the wildlife which surrounds them.

Forestry II class studies a stand of trees.

He wanted them to know that only after our children, forestry is the number one resource in Clarke County, and that even if they are not looking to make a career out of his class, there are definitely things they can learn about life and being a leader in their family, their school, their community, and their future.

Forestry II class studies a stand of trees.

Yesterday Mr. Miller took a Forestry II class into a stand of trees where they assessed composition, age, dominant trees, stage of growth, any invasive species, and the prescription/management practice used to achieve their goals.

Forestry II class studies a stand of trees.

But the reason he received Clarke County Career & Technology’s Teacher of the Year is because of what the center’s director, Tracy Dearing says,

“He’s a positive role model for our students so that they can become responsible and successful citizens.”