Retired Principal Tim Miller Remains Valley’s Biggest Fan
Tim Miller celebrated his last day as Valley High School principal on June 30. Former Associate Principal David Maxwell began his new role as Valley High School principal on July 1.
Miller has been a fixture of the West Des Moines Community Schools since 1999, when he was hired as Stilwell Junior High School principal. After his move to Valley in 2014, Miller led students and staff with the characteristic warmth and grit that made him so beloved at Stilwell. Through it all, his mission remained the same.
“I try to be of service to everybody and do the best that I can in helping them find the successes they want to find and receive the education that our students deserve,” he said.
Miller’s efforts to help others find success continue to shape the district. At Stilwell, he established the three cornerstones staff and students still follow today: do the right thing, do your best, and treat others the way you want to be treated. At Valley, he guided students and staff through complex equity work and established the Valley High School Hall of Honor.
Miller was also active in the district community, attending many events that represented Valley’s 4A’s: academics, activities, arts, and athletics.
For his contributions to students and athletes in the community, Miller earned an Outstanding School Administrator Award from the Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association. He was also named the 2018 Citizen of the Year by the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and the City of West Des Moines.
To no one’s surprise, Miller has few plans to slow down now that he is retired. He will spend his retirement continuing to support Valley and the West Des Moines Community Schools as a community member. With four children who graduated from Valley and his wife still teaching in the district, Miller remains one of Valley’s biggest fans—just with a little more free time.
“You might find me doing a little more fishing, you might find me around the community,” he said. “I might be a little farther removed, but I’ll be in the stands and in the Performing Arts Center enjoying the efforts of our students and our (staff), just being part of the West Des Moines community,” Miller said.
Miller’s support and enthusiasm also extend to Valley’s new principal, current associate principal David Maxwell. Miller and Maxwell met at Lincoln High School in the 1990s. Maxwell was a language arts teacher; Miller was a special education teacher, then became Lincoln’s athletic director. The two have a mutual respect and rapport that comes from approaching leadership in the same way.
“Education is all about students and providing them the opportunity to learn,” Miller said. “So many people talk about how things have changed…. Maybe the people have changed, but the idea of being there to educate students, being there to assist them in finding their way, to help teachers be the best that they can be—I’m not sure that’s ever going to change, no matter who’s the principal of Valley High School. I’m so excited about David coming into that new role because I know he’ll be there to serve as well.”
That mindset is what Miller wants people to remember about his time with the West Des Moines Community Schools: that he gave his all and totally committed to the people who made up his schools.
“It’s working with students, it’s working with teachers, it’s working with families that I’ll always cherish,” he said. “That’s what I’ll miss as well—not one specific thing, just the opportunity to be part of what I consider to be a great learning organization and a tremendous community.”