Iconic Legend

This world lost a treasured soul yesterday. This one is for you, LaRue Miller…may you rest softly in eternal Love, grace, peace, and learning, beautiful sainted one.

We often attempt to live our lives backwards…wanting more things, more education, more money, more order, more control, all in an attempt to do more of what makes us happy in this life.  The way it actually works is the reverse.

“You must first be who you really are and then do what you need to do in order to have what you need and want in life. The smiles and trials will come and go but your true self should always shine the brightest.”  ~ LaRue Miller

Mrs. Miller chose to embrace and actively live this particular pearl of wisdom with her signature grace and unconditional love. Gratefully, her personal philosophy will live on in the generations of lives she touched throughout her teaching career of 55+ years as well as her volunteer work in the very town and home where she grew up, raised her own family, and gave back everyday of her fruitful life. To hear her voice a thought was to participate in a master class of communication and collaboration from deep within her soul. Her obvious passion for learning and teaching, her quiet strength, and her pearls of wisdom were discreetly dropped into any conversation. To read her personal story was inspiring. To hear and witness firsthand how she led with her story and shared it everyday of her life was a modern miracle. Her determined ability to see and draw out the personal best in each soul was legendary. These were just a few of the touch-points in the powerful legacy of LaRue Miller.  And while she would never admit it, she was and will forever remain the most insightful part of something profoundly extraordinary because she, LaRue Miller, was the catalyst.

Mrs. Miller would often share how she was humbled and honored to have her legacy carried forth in the classrooms of the school bearing her name.  One of her proudest moments was the morning our superintendent called to inform her of the decision. Even today, when you visit or volunteer at the campus bearing her name, you will find telltale signs of her subtle influence:  a picture or book here, a quote there…all reminders of her majestic influence and continued inspiration.  She deeply loved her community, her namesake school, her church, her former students and their families, her beloved friends, and most especially, her own impressive family. 

As the first principal of her namesake school for the last eight years of my educational career, I remain forever grateful for her wisdom, enthusiasm, stories (especially those when she taught with my mom), collaborations, and hugs; she was so generous with those hugs!  🙂  She knew her story, she communicated her story so incredibly well, and she always led with her story every single day!

There is a beautiful book in every classroom on her campus called The LaRue Miller Legacy, written by students and staff about her incredible story the first year her campus opened. It is heartwarming and comforting to know her legacy book project will continue to assist young learners and leaders in practicing the speaking skills and story-telling Mrs. Miller herself modeled throughout her lifetime. She believed strongly young students needed positive role models as they developed language and communication skills through shared conversations. During my tenure on her campus, she modeled this weekly in small groups, during parent nights, at campus-wide family functions, and so much more. She also encouraged students and their families to document their life stories and lessons for future generations. It is our responsibility and honor now to take up her story for her so the exceptional life and legacy as the school’s namesake will never be forgotten.

Thank you, Mrs. Miller, for honoring us with your legacy. Thank you for being the approachable, personable, smiling living legend we needed with much grace and unconditional love.  Thank you for blessing my family and countless other families in a million, brilliant ways. Thank you for small talks, short walks, laughter, storytelling, remembrances, books, smiles, hugs, and all those spaces in between where cream gravy soaks in and grace shines through them. Thank you for knowing and sharing the secret to a well-lived life is in giving…giving your support, encouragement, respect, presence, talents, gifts, service, time, and love. Thank you for believing in and actively living the sacredness of The Golden Rule throughout your long and fruitful life. Thank you for being a deep and special part of those you served and those who served with you. Thank you for actively living, sharing, and always reminding all of us, “the goal is simple…to help you achieve yours!” 

To the Miller Family (her school family and her personal family): May great love and precious memories wrap each of you in comfort and strength to help soften the edges of her physical absence as you face each new tomorrow…bva

Homecoming Week 2014!

12homecomingMidlothian ISD has celebrated school-community spirit since 1906, so it is time to continue promoting our hometown Panther Pride during the annual Homecoming 2014 festivities. To rally and support the Panthers, a community pep rally is scheduled for Wednesday, September 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Stadium; all are invited to attend and participate in the festivities.

On Friday, September 19, the annual MISD Homecoming Parade will be at 3:00 p.m.  At 7:30 p.m., the MHS Panthers will tackle the Haltom Buffalos. View parade info & route.

Students will release from classes early on Friday.  LME will dismiss at 12:30 p.m. this Friday; all times have been adjusted at all schools. **PreK & PPCD students will receive a letter with their amended schedule for Friday.

We appreciate your support and understanding for this annual tradition.  Let’s go, Panthers, let’s go!   🙂

Rounding Up a Busy Week!

It’s a busy but short week here at LME.  Here’s the important scoop:

parentsurveyWe value your parent input and truly encourage you to participate today in the Midlothian ISD K-12 Parent Technology Survey.  This helps us make plans for future students’ technology education and needs (including instructional materials adoptions). All parents are encouraged to take the short survey by April 18. Take survey now 

Round-Up for all our incoming PreK, Head Start, and Kindergarten PleaseRegisterfriends starts today at each elementary campus from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm through Thursday this week.  Parents are encouraged to visit misd.sc/roundup-eng and register your child online, then bring the required documentation to the attendance-zone campus for final steps.  Required documentation includes a driver’s license, child’s social security card, official birth certificate (state-approved), complete immunization records, and two proofs of residency (mortgage statement, lease agreement, or closing document AND a current gas, electric, or water bill showing the physical address (within the last 30 days).  Campus staff will be on hand to help with all aspects of registration, including providing laptops for completing the online process in person.  We look forward to meeting our incoming learners this week!

Finally, it’s the week of our REALLY BIG SHOW!  Join us on Thursday, April 17th from 6:30 until 8:00 for the 6th Annual Fine Arts Show and Family Book Fair Event!  As Thoreau noted, “The world is but a canvas to the imagination.”  Please come enJOY the creative canvas of each learner at LME this year!

Hip Hip Hooray for Mr. Hemphill!

IMG_2081School Board members really have “the best of times and the worst of times” (according to some Miller learners, that is).  We were honored today to enJOY the company of Mr. Todd Hemphill, Midlothian ISD Board Trustee.  He came early and assisted in morning arrival duty with our Safety Patrol and staff members, greeting students entering the building.  He participated in our Friday Miller Rally talking about what a Board member does (and was interested to hear what some of our learners thought he did too!).  Each team elected a representative to talk and present him with a special team token of appreciation showing our Miller thanks for the time imageDSC_1071and service he provides to MISD.  Our Student Honor Council shared breakfast and a thorough school tour (I feel certain he most likely learned some secret things about LME that only the most privileged are selected to know).  🙂

We are grateful to have caring, civic-minded, service-oriented trustees in our district who serve willingly to uphold the highest educational standards expected from our community.  School Board members are volunteers, and while they don’t get paid, their work is priceless.  As one little learner summed it up after Miller Moves, “Hip, hip HOORAY for Mr. Hemphill today!”

Thanks to all our Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees for serving our district to ensure we continue to strive to be the leading learning organization in the nation.

Leadership and Learning

A leader is defined as “someone who leads; one who has the principal part in something important; the head of a group whose example is followed.”  Leadership is “being the leader; having the ability to lead as the head of a group.”  LaRue Miller Elementary had the privilege today of hosting a leadership group of leaders from the Midlothian area at our campus.  Our Student Honor Council served as student leaders and guides throughout the building.  Mrs. Miller, our honorary campus leader, spoke eloquently about her educational experiences in Midlothian ISD to this important group.  Dr. Stewart and other MISD administrators took time out to share their thoughts and answer questions.  I shared specific information about our campus as well as the unique programs and projects  experienced at all six MISD elementary schools.   The leadership group spent time touring and visiting in classrooms to see our learners in action.  Some of our CBI and PPCD friends were working in Tricycle Town (our outdoor language learning classroom).  As you can tell, they were having a great time in the breezy weather!  Our StuCo presented each visitor with a special Miller Elementary t-shirt bag of goodies to commemorate their time here with us.  Yes, we are blessed in MISD to have community leaders who take time away from busy daily schedules to support and encourage our work in the schools; their investment today truly reaps rewards for the future in Midlothian ISD and Midlothian, Texas!

Are you well-informed?

To communicate literally means “to convey knowledge of or information about; to make known.”  Our MISD Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jerome Stewart, is a strong communicator and storyteller; he factually shares the district’s story—the good and the not-so-good.  He is also a blogger and I strongly encourage you to follow him, specifically during his ongoing series about Midlothian ISD’s Building and Bonds program.  His remarks and comments are always current, insightful, and informational.  You can access his blog through the MISD homepage.  His most recent blog entitled Curve Ball talks specifically on two key points you need to understand as a taxpayer and citizen of Midlothian ISD. These are the facts as we know them today.  Here’s hoping you take some time to be informed!

Note:  One of our LME families lost their home today in a fire; thankfully, no one was hurt.  We are collecting gift cards for food and clothing for this family in our front office for anyone who might wish to contribute.  Thanks for your ongoing generosity and acts of kindness.