By Haley Wilson
While mingling around the streets of town or mingling down the halls at school, writer and teacher Derrick Miller has one goal in mind, making a positive impact on the lives of others.
Miller, a 2005 Oklahoma State University journalism graduate, started his eight and a half year journalism career with the Duncan Banner in 2005. Starting in 2014 Miller made a career shift to education in order to make a greater difference in the community he lives in.
When asked about his journalism career, Miller said, “I loved interacting with people in the community; it is amazing how many friends I have made along the way.” However, Miller also said, “I wasn’t making a difference in the community like I wanted to.”
Miller’s decision to go into education was not made overnight.
“I had been thinking about teaching for about five years,” Miller said.
He credits his mother’s background as a resource teacher for sparking his interest in education.
Miller taught 7th grade Language Arts for one year at Duncan Middle School before being introduced to his new challenge of bringing journalism to the Duncan Middle School.
“For me, teaching journalism is like coming home,” Miller says. “I am taking my past experiences from high school and college and modifying them to suit middle school students.”
Miller’s hands-on experience is drawing on students’ desire to see real life applications for what they are learning.
While Duncan Middle School is feeling the positive impact of having Miller around, so are other local organizations like The Duncan Little Theater. Miller and his wife Beka of two years are both involved in the theater. While Beka is on the acting end of the organization, Miller has been part of the theater board since July of 2015.
“Members of the theater are like our family,” Miller says.
Shortly after joining the board, he became the publicity chair for the organization.
Miller plans to stay involved in his community and continue to positively impact the lives of the people in the Duncan community.