Columbia Heights High School Assistant Principal Matt Miller Named 2019-2020 Employee of the Year
Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) Assistant Principal Matt Miller has been named the Columbia Heights Public Schools (CHPS) 2019-2020 Employee of the Year. Miller – who has served in the District since 2011 – is the eleventh recipient of the award.
“[I was] stunned!” Miller said upon receiving the news of him being named this year’s Employee of the Year. “And honored to get such a great award by the staff here at Columbia Heights.”
“The high school is excited for Matt in being honored as Employee of the Year,” said CHHS Principal Dan Wrobleski. “He is a prime example of the qualities celebrated with this award. Matt is a friend and a valued colleague and he helps us all keep our focus on supporting our students.”
Since starting with the District in August 2011, Miller has served as a Dean of Students, the Director of K-12 Activities & Athletics. In his current position as CHHS Assistant Principal, Miller’s responsibilities are vast; he is responsible for many functions at the high school. From enforcing discipline, health, safety and general welfare standards for students and staff within building and observing classrooms to addressing attendance truancy, facilitating meetings and assisting with overseeing staff work – Miller's days are never the same and always changing.
Miller completed his bachelors degree at Bethel University and his masters degree in organizational leadership from the University of Northwestern - St. Paul. He completed his K-12 principal licensure at St. Cloud State University. Prior to his tenure in Columbia Heights, Milled served as a graduate assistant in the University of Northwestern - St. Paul’s football program, taught physical education and health at Washburn High School in Minneapolis, as well as coached their football team. Before starting in CHPS, Miller spent a year in Costa Rica where he attended the Costa Rican Language Academy. In 2008, after rescuing victims of the 35W bridge collapse, Miller received the highly-coveted Above and Beyond Citizen Award presented to him by Former U.S. Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell at Arlington National Cemetery.
“[I would describe the philosophy I bring to my work as] kids first! I want to hold high expectations for teachers and students, build relationships with all stakeholders and cultivate a culture of learning through an equity lens,” Miller said. “I have the best job in the world. I get to serve staff and students everyday in one of the most diverse districts in the state. I get to help shape our future leaders.”
“Matthew Miller has long been committed to providing worlds of opportunity to each and every learner in CHPS,” said Superintendent Kathy Kelly. “Throughout his tenure, he has proven his dedication to our students, staff and community – bringing our mission and values to life.”
Miller says what he enjoys most about his job is the culture of collaboration. “ When we are all working together for our students I get to see on a daily basis the impact we truly have.”
Nominators cited Miller as “bleeding blue and gold” – exemplifying Heights Pride in all situations.
“The thing that made Matt stick out to me was the pride for Columbia Heights that beamed from him, it was if he literally bleeds blue and gold,” one nominator said. “The more I work with [him], the more and more I start to believe his blood is truly blue and gold.”
Nominators said Miller’s sincere interest in helping people allows him to meaningfully connect with everyone he works with. “His positive and unique personality allows him to make connections with staff and students to ensure that they feel like they truly belong at CHHS.”
“We are so thankful to have a leader like Mr. Miller in our District,” the Superintendent noted.
This year, 12 nominations were received for the annual recognition. To be eligible for the Employee of the Year award, individuals must be a current employee of the District, have worked at least three full years and not received the recognition before. A committee reviews the nominations and makes a selection based on criteria including work ethic, demonstration of “Heights Pride,” exemplary performance and more.