Miller retires from teaching English, Spanish and computers

Sandy Hull
Shirley Miller looks right at home in front of a computer at Cambridge High School. Miller retired at the end of the school year after working 25 years at the school. She taught English, Spanish and computers.

    Shirley Miller retired from Cambridge High School at the end of the school year.

    She is a graduate of Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Illinois University, Macomb.

    For the last 25 years, Miller has been employed at the Cambridge High School teaching English, Spanish and computers, one through five. Prior to Cambridge High School, she taught four years at the Moline Elementary School.

    While teaching, she received personal satisfaction from seeing success stories.

    “Like Kris Wexell,” she stated. “I like talking with students several years after they graduate and having them tell me how they used a skill I taught them to become successful.”

    Teaching has changed throughout the years according to Miller.

    “The financial crisis has really affected schools,” she said. “Going to workshop and conference is not an option like it was when I first started and I really enjoyed sharing and learning from other teachers.”

    As she leaves Cambridge High School, Miller will take lots of fond memories with her.

    “I enjoyed making the new shows and senior shows,” she said. “I will also miss attending the prom and after prom festivities and the great people I taught with.”

    When asked what advice she has for those pursuing a degree in teaching, she stated “You are teaching your students, but always be open to learning things from them, because you will.”

    Miller also feels today’s youth should get more support and encouragement from their parents regarding their education.

    Miller said if she hadn’t been a teacher, she considered an engineeering career, like her dad.

    “When I graduated from high school, engineering wasn’t a field that was very open to women,” she stated. “So I chose education.”

    Miller said she plans to sub for a year or two, while the kids still know her and what she expects from them. She would also like to do some traveling, find a job with about 10 hours or so a week and do some volunteering.

    Her hobbies include walking, going to the riverboats and spending time with her family.

    Miller and her husband, Gary, live in Geneseo. They have two sons, Brian and Scott and a daughter-in-law, Oun. They have a dog, Bosco and a cat, Louie.