Valley’s Tim Miller, JJ Kapur Named 2018 Citizens of the Year

A head shot of Tim MillerValley High School Principal Tim Miller and senior student JJ Kapur have earned Citizen of the Year awards from the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and the City of West Des Moines. Miller has earned the 2018 Citizen of the Year Award, and Kapur has been named the Emerging Citizen of the Year.

Miller has been principal of Valley High School since 2014. As Valley principal, he has led the school through its equity audit and work with the Deep Equity program and continues to work diligently to provide growth and enrichment opportunities for students and staff. He continually strives to enhance the feeling of community among all Valley High School stakeholders.

Before serving as Valley principal, Miller was the associate principal at Brody Middle School in Des Moines for one year, then principal of Stilwell Junior High School for 15 years. At Stilwell, he established 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.

Yearbook photo: JJ Kapur

Kapur founded the Iowa Sikh Turbanators, a youth-led community service group focused on “turban-ating” the negative stigma surrounding Sikhism. His work advocating for Sikh civil liberties has earned him the Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student Award and ACLU Youth Advocacy Award.

In 2017, Kapur was named the Original Oratory National Champion at the National Speech and Debate Tournament, the most prestigious high school speech and debate competition in the nation. His victory capped off a string of high profile awards, including first-place finishes at the Tournament of Champions, Emory University, and Harvard University tournaments.

Miller and Kapur will be honored as West Des Moines Citizens of the Year at a special reception from 4:30-6 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, at the Staplin Performing Arts Center at Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines. The event is open to the public and there is no charge to attend. For more information on the event, please contact the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce at 515-225-6009.