After eight years as superintendent of Buckeye Valley Local Schools, Dr. Andy Miller is shifting to a new role within the district.
In September, the district announced that due to a medical diagnosis, Miller would be stepping aside as superintendent at the start of 2022. The announcement added Miller would begin serving as assistant superintendent in 2022 while the current assistant superintendent, Dr. Jeremy Froelich, would become interim superintendent until the Buckeye Valley Board of Education finds a permanent replacement for Miller.
“I’m excited for the board to pick somebody new and to carry on the good things happening here,” Miller said Wednesday.
Miller has been in education for 26 years and got his start teaching at Delaware City Schools, his alma mater. Miller said he taught at Willis and Dempsey, but he had just built a house in Radnor Township and saw an opening at Buckeye Valley North.
“The BV North building in Radnor had a job opening for a principal at that time,” Miller said. “I didn’t have any experience at the time, but I thought, ‘Heck, I’ll throw my hat in the ring,’ and I ended up getting that position. I was 30.”
Miller said he was at BV North for four years before moving to Buckeye Valley Middle School where he served as principal for seven years. Miller said he then spent a year as the principal at Buckeye Valley High School before serving as the assistant superintendent for a year and finally moving to the superintendent role eight years ago.
“I was fortunate to stay in the area for all my career,” Miller said. “That doesn’t happen for too many people.”
Miller said doctors believe he has Multiple System Atrophy – Cerebellar Type, a condition that effects his balance, voice strength and speech. Following the diagnosis, Miller said he felt he should step aside but wanted to continue to help the district.
“The public side of the superintendency … just wasn’t in the cards for me,” Miller said referring to attending public meetings or speaking engagements on behalf of the district. “My voice gets weaker as the day goes on. I thought BV deserved someone who can do those aspects of the job, so that’s why I kind of stepped aside.”
Miller said he doesn’t plan to leave the district just yet.
“I plan to finish out my contract,” he said. “Depending upon my health, that’s priority number one. I still feel like I can contribute and add value to BV.”
Miller said he’ll step into the assistant superintendent position beginning in January. After the board appoints a new superintendent, Miller added he’s not sure where he’ll end up within the district.
“Once the board makes a decision about a permanent superintendent I guess we’ll see where I can be most useful for the district,” he said. “That’s my plan. I want to add value any way that I can. I’ll pitch in to help where I can.”
Looking back on his time as superintendent, Miller said he enjoyed the superintendent’s perspective and liked seeing the district solve problems.
“My favorite part of the job is seeing things come together, seeing people set goals and then progress towards,” Miller said. “As the superintendent, you get a different vantage point than anyone else. It’s very rewarding watching progress.”
In particular, Miller said he’s happy to have passed the 2015 bond issue that dealt with elementary facilities.
“Being the leader of that bond issue was really rewarding,” Miller said. “It was quite a turn-around.”
Miller said he was also happy to see improvements to the district’s report card and was thrilled the district was able to bring students back into schools last year.
“I have a lot of memories associated (with Buckeye Valley),” Miller said. “(I’ve enjoyed) the relationships I’ve had a chance to be a part of for the last 20 years. They’ve all been very rewarding.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.