Herald JournalHerald Journal, Aug. 4, 2003

Joe Miller beginning 30th year at Lester Prairie School

By Julie Yurek

There's no place Joe Miller of Lester Prairie would rather be than at Lester Prairie Schools.

"I can't think of a job I'd rather do," he said. "I love kids."

Miller is Lester Prairie High School's principal now that he completed four years of schooling for the job.

He was the dean of students for eight years.

Prior to that, he taught 10th, 11th, and 12th grade social studies for 21 years.

He has worked at Lester Prairie Schools for his entire teaching career; he begins his 30th year this fall.

Miller earned his master's degree and administrative license from St. Mary's University of Minnesota.

He was able to take part of a cohort program at the university. Since there were more than 15 people from the local area interested in the master's program, the school sent instructors to Glencoe to teach class, Miller said.

Miller needed 32 credits for his master's degree and 31 credits for his administrative license, he said.

He wasn't able to do a cohort program for his administrative license because there weren't enough interested people in the area, so he had to attend class at St. Mary's Twin Cities campus.

Classes for both programs were usually once a week from 5 to 9 p.m. and two to three Saturday classes from at least 8 a.m. to noon.

Miller also had to do a principal internship under the supervision of Supt. Dr. James Redfield.

Not only did schooling cost Miller four years of his life, it also cost about $16,000, of which the district paid about $6,000, he said.

Miller decided to pursue the job of principal because it was a challenge and it made sense to him, he said.

He's most proud of helping students find their "niche," or what interests them in school and making sure they make it to graduation day, he said.

Miller's duties won't change too much, though he will now be able to evaluate teachers, he said.

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