By: Sonny Pinkney
Growing up in a single parent household that consisted of domestic violence and substance abuse wasn’t the life that Dr. Paul Miller envisioned living going forward. So, during his childhood, his mindset was solely on education. Miller, who’s currently the Principal & CEO of Green Tech High Charter School located in Albany, New York described his life growing up in Rochester, New York during his childhood as “The heart of the Jungle”.
Before being a sought-after leader in the world of urban education, Paul loved sports especially football—But, Miller, sustained a football injury while in college–which led him on the path to becoming an educator. Thus, he obtained his Master’s and Doctorate Degrees because he felt that they [students] weren’t receiving the proper attention to detail.
“I wanted to be a part of the decision-making that went on in building, so I saw that kids weren’t necessarily being looked out for as they should be; the decisions were made for adults not for kids, so what I ended up doing was let me start of the solution to the problem.”
Under his leadership at Green Tech Charter beginning in 2012, Dr. Miller has the school ranked among the best in the entire state of New York with his students receiving acceptance letters to colleges & universities at a rate of one-hundred percent; and, while graduating ninety-five percent of its students from the prestigious Green Tech High Charter School.
“We’ve built a culture here in a community; and, so within the school building [the] culture and community needs to be built where what’s best for kids to happens… Our goal here in this building, and this community that we’ve created is to truly work to put our kids needs first.” Miller said.
Prior to Dr. Miller’s arrival Green Tech Charter students only received $20,000 in college scholarships—compared to $13 million in scholarship money since his hiring. Miller says his secret is having a ‘whatever it takes attitude’.
“It’s building a team, you can’t do it on your own. I can’t just walk in and do what a science teacher does, so I need to groom a science teacher to be the best teacher possible; and help them understand the process that they need to deliver the instructions. The secret is building a team—the secret is building a structure and a system–where the students don’t have distractions to where the students can come to school, and feel that it’s a safe place to where people care about them.” Miller stated.
“The secret is that we have lofty expectations and academic rigor. The secret is that we believe in giving back and its community service; just recently, we did a pay-it-forward where I sent out all three-hundred and seventy-five young men into the community where their adversary teachers; they [young men] did fifty random tasks to complete on paying random acts of kindness within the whole city.” Miller added.
“I’m just a regular guy that works hard” that was the SUNY Brockport alum response to feedbackthemagazine.com question pertaining to him being mentioned as one of the most sought-after leaders in urban education.
“Most people in the room might be smarter than me, but there’s not too many people in the room that’s going to out-work me…I’m humble and always hungry and [is] seeking to always improve; I feel like I’m just doing God’s work.” Miller feels.
Dr. Miller, who is the author of two books both of which can be purchased on amazon.com and barnesandnobles.com titled ‘We Need to Do Better’ and Cyberbullying “Breaking the Cycle of Conflict says his students face these obstacles that’s mentioned in his books.
“Absolutely. It happens every day, And, I try to write about realistic items that could make a difference and will make a difference; and have been making a difference. And, so, the students definitely face that.” Miller expressed.