As he retires, Mr. Miller reflects on his career

Cathedral provides the bookends for his decades in education


Jade Zhao

During the Irish 500 on May 20, math teacher Mr. Mike Miller provides information about the school’s many traditions.

Olivia Uskert, Reporter

After a decade on the Hill, math teacher and assistant men’s varsity golf coach Mr. Mike Miller wraps up his 41-year teaching career.

Miller taught geometry and computer math here straight out of college in 1981, but left the following year and taught at multiple schools over the course of the next 30 years. He taught math and coached men’s basketball at Carmel High School from 1982 to 1985, Brebeuf Jesuit from 1985 to 1994 and Lawrence Central High School from 1994 to 2012. He returned to the Hill in 2012 to teach Algebra II.

While coaching men’s basketball at Brebeuf in 1991, Miller led the team to the State championship game, where they lost to Gary Roosevelt in the era before class basketball. Miller was also named the Indiana all-star team coach in 2007.

When recalling his first year on the Hill, Miller said, “One thing that really stands out to me is the first pep (rally) I came to. Seeing the school spirit and everyone standing for the school song (made me feel that this is) such a positive place.”

Miller also remembers how different the school was when he was first employed. He said, “Cathedral has changed a lot. It was a lot smaller and Mr. (Ken) Barlow (‘82)  was a senior in high school (at the time). (Mr.) Nick Morgan was the department chair and pretty much just handed me my book and said, ‘Hey, go get ‘em.’”

It’s been a really, really positive experience.”

— Mr. Mike Miller

Though much has changed since Miller’s first year, he remains satisfied with his employment and the treatment he’s received from both students and faculty. He said, “It’s been a really, really positive experience. I’ve really enjoyed the students. The faculty has been really great to work with and the administration has been great, (too).”

Math teacher Mrs. Lisa Ford has grown especially close to Miller, as they both taught together for the first time at the school in 1981. Ford said, “I really liked him right from the beginning. He has a great sense of humor and he manages to be serious, but not too serious. He’s a very rigorous teacher, but he makes it fun for the kids (and teaches) with a positive attitude. He’s been a magnificent teacher and colleague.”

Miller’s retirement announcement shocked and saddened both students and teachers. One of his Algebra II students was particularly sad after hearing the news. Sophomore Sarah Coleman said, “I was really upset because (Mr. Miller) is probably my favorite teacher. He’s always been really supportive and is always willing to help us when we don’t understand something; he makes it really fun to learn. I never really liked coming to math class before, but now it’s one of my favorite classes.”

Upon hearing about Miller’s retirement, Ford said, “Of course I was sad, because I think it’s a loss for Cathedral, but I’m happy for him because he’s at a point in his life when he’s ready to do some different things.”

Miller said, “(Making the decision to retire) was really hard because it’s something that I have done for pretty much all of my life, but it’s just the right time. Forty-one years is a long time to teach. It’s bittersweet, and there are (definitely) things I’ll miss, but I’m ready for the next stage of life.”

Although Miller is retiring from teaching and coaching, he will continue to work part time. Miller has tutored at Bender/Rocap Educational Services, soon to be known as B&R Educational Services, for about 12 years. Miller said, “I like tutoring (and want to continue it) because it’s one-on-one and it’s a little bit easier to know whether students are getting it. It’s a little more personal (and) I’ve (always) really loved teaching, (so I don’t want to completely give that up).”

The question of whether Miller will continue to assist in coaching the men’s varsity golf team is still up in the air. Miller has been involved with the team for 10 years and coached the women’s team for six years. While Miller is open to the idea of continuing to coach, he doesn’t have a concrete idea of what life will be like after retirement.

Miller said, “I don’t know what not teaching is going to look like yet. How much time am I going to put into tutoring? Am I going to pick up another small part-time job? Or am I just going to read the newspaper on my front porch and drink my coffee? I don’t really have a full picture of what it’s going to look like (yet).”

On a final note, Ford said, “I hope anybody who hasn’t met Mr. Miller at least stops by his room and wishes him well. He is a wonderful person and everybody who knows him loves him. Those who don’t know him should at least stop by and meet him (before he leaves the Hill).”