Earlier this month, John Miller officially became the new activities director for Merrill Area Public Schools; stepping in for former AD Rick Bonnell who will return to teaching this upcoming school year.
A native of Fon du Lac, Wis. Miller comes to MAPS from Red Wing, MN where he previously served as Activities Director.
Although Miller lists several reasons for having an interest in bringing his family to Merrill, he readily admits the region and the reputation MAPS athletics has established in the area, were the factors that topped the list. “My first professional job out of college was with St. Peter Middle School in Stevens Point as a Middle School Phy-Ed and Health teacher. I also served Middle School Activities Director and Head Girls Basketball coach at Pacelli High School,” he explains.
“So I became very familiar with central Wisconsin very early in my career and just loved the area! During our time here previously, my wife and I established strong friendships and and connections in the area. We always said we would come back here in a minute if given the opportunity. So when I saw the job posting for MAPS, I considered it the opportunity we were looking for. In doing my research, I quickly realized how unique Merrill is in the sense of it being a small town with big time tradition in their athletics programs,” he explains.
“In speaking with other coaches and activities directors in the area, I heard nothing but great things. I was told the Merrill teams travel well in terms of their fan base and there is a great deal of pride with the community and supporting their athletic programs.
“I was told the kids compete with a high level of class and sportsmanship; representing their school and community very well whether they are competing at home or away. And I must admit, there is no other place in the state like North Central Wisconsin. I have lived in a lot of places and nowhere else can even compare. This area really has its own niche with its combination of beautiful landscape and very generous, welcoming communities and their residents. My wife Jill and I could not have picked a better community to be a part of and raise our two young sons.”
A three-sport athlete at Fon du Lac-North High School, Miller pursued his college education at UW-Oshkosh, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Education, a K-12 Licensure in Physical Education and a double minor in health and coaching athletics. Miller also holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Ohio University.
Prior to coming to Merrill, Miller has held positions with the Madison Metro School District; teaching 6-8th grade Physical Education and holding various coaching positions, as well as the Oak Creek School District; teaching Middle School Physical Education and serving as Assistant 9th grade Girls Basketball coach.
“My family and I are super excited not only to be back in North Central Wisconsin but for the opportunity to be a part of the Merrill Community,” he adds with a grin. “We have felt nothing but welcomed since I accepted the position of Activities Director and recently relocating to Merrill. I’m very excited to dive into the rich athletic traditions established here in Merrill and continue such positive momentum moving forward”
John Miller can be reached at Merrill High School (715) 536-4594