New SAE principal at home in school
Shellie Miller has no question about one of the high points of administrative responsibilities at South Adams Elementary School. She loves it when she has the opportunity to go into the classroom and connect with students.
“In each classroom I read a book. I love being with the kids. I love the opportunities I have to visit the classrooms,” said Miller.
Miller said that she enjoys interaction with students so much that she does lunch duty every day.
The new principal refers to elementary school these days as exciting; she sees it as challenging and with all of the new technology, a rigorous opportunity for students to learn things early in their educational journey.
“Many of the students will leave kindergarten as readers,” said Miller. “It’s amazing how rigorous everything has become when you look at kindergarten. Kids do things in kindergarten that they used to do at the end of the first grade. It really is exciting what students experience and do so well.
“I was one of those people that always knew that I wanted to be a teacher,” continued Miller.
Miller credits her mother for the push that she needed to launch her teaching education.
“My mom was such a big influence. She said, ‘you are going to college,’” Miller said. “I’m very thankful for her.”
Miller did her student teaching at Bluffton-Harrison Schools while she was doing her initial education degree at IPFW. She was then hired into the Northern Wells School system (Lancaster Elementary). While she was there, she got a masters degree in education at Indiana Wesleyan University.
“I was at Lancaster Elementary for six years; I thought I would retire there,” said Miller. “Then I had the opportunity to be a principal at Ossian Elementary. Then I took an opportunity at Churubusco Elementary in the Smith-Green Community Schools. That was the biggest decision I had made at the time. I was in a K-12 building, so I learned about high school and middle school curriculum.”
These days, Miller and her family are excited about the move to South Adams because it allows closer access to her home area of Wells County. With a Wells County address, she is excited about her children attending school in her alma mater.
One of the things that drew Miller to South Adams Elementary is the updated high-tech iPads in the school system. The principal noted that all of the programs currently used are Internet based and can continue to be accessed by iPads, along with ISTEP, mCLASS and Acuity testing.
She stressed that iPads are not intended to replace textbooks, but are intended to enhance the curriculum. She noted that in many situations, teachers could teach with textbooks and then send students to do follow-up with iPads.
“This is so good because the students can have the best of both worlds,” Miller said. “It is good because the right combination can be utilized and tailored to meet specific needs.”
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