WHEATLAND – Platte County schools have been searching for a new superintendent since Dennis Fischer announced his resignation and over the last two weeks three candidates have toured the schools in the county, met with the school board and teachers and participated in a public forum at the Wheatland High School auditorium. The candidates were Steve Miller from Pinedale, Kenneth Crowson from Arapahoe and Gregory Figenser from Green River. Steve Miller was announced as the chosen candidate in the PCSD No.1 board work session on Monday. Dr. Miller has accepted the contract from the district.
Steve Miller grew up in the small town of Craig, Colo. He is married, Rachel, and has two children, Christian and Zoe. In his spare time, Steve likes to golf, fish, hike, camp, and spend time with his family.
He is currently the Director of Curriculum of Sublette School District No. 1 in Pinedale. The district has four schools. Before becoming an administrator, he was a middle school math teacher in a small school district east of Colorado Springs. After five years, he and his family moved to Pinedale where he started at the middle school, and after four years was appointed as the Instructional Facilitator and then on to the Director of Curriculum position. Miller has earned a PhD in education.
When asked about effective discipline, he talked about working in an urban school and discovering the merits of the, “Time to teach program.” It concentrates on classroom behavior guidelines.
“It changed my teaching career. I was ready to give up. The program eliminates escalation, nips it in the bud,” explained Miller. “We can get something in place as a district to eliminate those behaviors.”
He is not against a four-day-school week, but is concerned about what the kids would be doing when they are not in school on Friday. He has worked in a district with a four-day-week before.
Miller expressed an interest in furthering learning opportunities for kids who are doing well with their studies. Instead of just throwing them an extra worksheet or textbook, what can be done to help grow that person.
He believes that consistency is the best way to handle the smaller schools. That it is important to have their voices heard and how all the schools need to be unified. Decisions should be made with collaboration between the board, teachers, administrators and even students. “I don’t want followers – I want leaders.”