Wants to continue the ‘legacy that so many other people began’
Bruce Miller first heard about “high school No. 4” in the early 1990s when he was interviewing for a position with the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District.
“High school No. 4” would eventually become Eastview High School in Apple Valley, which opened in 1997. More than 20 years later, Miller has become the school’s third principal.
Miller began his new role in July, taking the reins from Randall Peterson, who worked in District 196 for 27 years, including 12 years as Eastview’s second principal, and an assistant principal there for about a decade prior to that.
“I’m just extremely proud to be able to represent our community and continue our legacy that so many other people began,” he said. “I hope I live up to what everyone has done before me.”
Journey to Eastview
Miller grew up in Kansas and attended Emporia State University after graduating from high school. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education. He also holds a master’s degree in athletic administration from St. Cloud State University and a specialist degree in educational administration from St. Mary’s University.
Miller lives in Apple Valley with his wife. They have a son and daughter who are both graduates of Eastview High School. In his free time, he enjoys running, lifting weights and bicycling.
When asked about how he got into education, Miller said no one in his immediate family were educators but he was influenced by the many adults he interacted with while participating in band, choir, playing sports or acting in a play. All of those adults were wonderful people, he added.
“That just instilled into me this idea that working with young people is really where the future is,” he said.
After college, he began his career as a science teacher and coach for a high school in Mexico, Missouri, and was later an adjunct professor and graduate assistant football coach at St. Cloud State University, the district said in a May news release.
Miller was hired by District 196 in 1993 to work at Eagan High School, where he taught science and coached football, baseball and track and field.
He said he was drawn to District 196 because of its reputation for academics, arts and athletics.
“Another important piece of this I noted right away upon coming to Eagan High School was just the supportive nature of our community. Our community, both in Eagan and Eastview, has been so supportive of District 196,” Miller said.
He was part of the administrative team that opened Eastview High School in 1997. He spent the first 10 years as assistant principal for athletics and curriculum, the district said. He became the assistant principal for student services and curriculum in 2007 after Peterson vacated the position to become the school’s principal.
Peterson and Miller worked closely together for over 20 years as each moved into different roles within the school. As Miller has taken over two of Peterson’s former positions, the two always collaborated how to move forward. Peterson never told Miller what to do, but would talk through what the next steps should be with him, Miller said.
Miller said Peterson’s legacy at the school is his passion for Eastview. The school was a big part of his life and will continue to be. One thing he learned from Peterson was the importance of relationships with the faculty, students and the community.
“His ability to reach out and engage different people into everything we were doing was very, very important,” he said. “Academically he understood really well what it took to make the school successful.”
Miller said relationships will continue to be important to him. Everything is better when trust and a comfort level has been created between people.
“I really believe that from the first day of school, when students are walking in, that we’re setting the tone and creating relationships,” he said.
One thing that has changed in recent years is the increase in the number of students working through a mental health issue or anxiety, Miller said. He intends to support efforts to serve students who need mental health support.
Miller said he wants to continue making sure that all students succeed academically, no matter what their background is. He has often told new families enrolling at the school that the school’s goal isn’t for the student to get the diploma in June, but to see where the student takes that diploma after graduation.
He added his purpose is to help all students, faculty members and community members have a way of becoming better in every interaction they have with Eastview and “that we’ve been able to help our students get to where they want to be.”
Patty Dexter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.