WALLA WALLA -- A longtime Washington state educator has been named the new Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent.
Mick Miller, who currently leads the Deer Park School District, was named the new superintendent during a special meeting of the Walla Walla School Board on Thursday night.
Miller will assume leadership of the district on July 1, when Richard Carter will retire.
Miller started his education career in the 1980s as an English and social studies teacher at North Central High School in Spokane, where he worked seven years.
In 1990, Miller began his career as an administrator, when he became assistant principal of North Central High. In 1994, he moved to Kelso to accept the principal position of Kelso High School.
Miller moved back to Spokane in 1996 to lead Mead High School as principal, and kept the leadership post until 2004, when he took over the Deer Park superintendent job. He has led the Deer Park district the last six years.
Miller's appointment followed a lengthy interview and discussion process by the School Board that grew more intense in the last week. This month, the School Board chose six semifinalists, who arrived in Walla Walla March 13 for a day full of interviews. At the day's end, the board chose it's three finalists.
The top candidates then returned to Walla Walla this week for full days meeting school staff, followed with evening sessions with the public and a final interview with the board.
The board worked into the night Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and took a pause from interviews Tuesday night to hold a regular board meeting.
Following Miller's interview Thursday, the board broke into a public session to discuss the three finalists, with Miller emerging as the top candidate.
Board president Cindy Meyer said in a statement that Miller's background in education, combined with a drive to build trust between the district and the community, is part of what made him stand out.
"Mick Miller has a desire to build relationships with the students, staff and parents and to be an integral part of our community," Meyer said. "His diverse skills in education make him a great fit for our school district."
Miller is an alumnus of Washington State University, where he earned his bachelor's degree and his superintendent's credential. He received his master's in education with an emphasis in school administration from Whitworth College in Spokane.
Miller told the district he has a passion for helping students learn. He said be believes in building relationships, transparency, and listening to stakeholders to move the organization forward.