Miller was recommended for the recognition by Carolyn Owens, who is working at MGM through a "Getting Students to the Finish Line" grant from Johns Hopkins University. The goal, Owens said, is to get students to come to school, study, get involved and graduate. Through her leadership classes and activities, "Allison inspires students to move into leadership roles, which helps them, the school and the community," Owens said.
In the leadership program, Allison Miller said, students learn primciples such as teamwork, communication and problem solving, which they put to use by planning events like Red Ribbon Week and the Week of Caring. She sponsors the Student Council, whose responsibility is to plan school-wide activities such as Homecoming and the annual Thanksgiving basket competition, and she teaches a Mobile history class to help girls prepare for the Azalea Trail interview process.
Miller's teaching effectiveness is seen in the results posted by her leadership students. Last year, they raised $6,000 to build clean water wells in Africa. This year, they have raised $4,200 to help end modern day slavery and human trafficking.
Students have hosted two blood drives this year, collecting a total of 732 units of blood; they've registered 863 students as organ donors and entered 75 people into the national bone marrow registry. And under Miller's guidance, MGM's leadership program was recently selected to pilot a Youth Service Initiative with United Way and Mobile United.
"Studies show that students who become involved with activities on their school campuses stay in school and graduate," Owens said. And Miller's goal is to make that happen at Mary G. Montgomery High. But Miller goes a step farther, arranging for her students to volunteer with non-profit groups out in the community, including such events as Semmes Azalea Festival and Semmes Heritage Day.
In her life away from the classroom, Miller practices what she preaches. She attends South Coast Church and serves on the Wave Student Ministry Leadership Team, leading the youth service on Wednesday nights and chaperoning youth events and trips. She leads the Go Team ministry, which serves all the other ministry teams on Sunday. And she's traveled to Jacmel, Haiti twice to work with a church, school, orphanage and feeding program.
"Allison is so respected and admired by everyone," said Owens, who presented Miller with a dozen yellow roses on behalf of the Johns Hopkins University after the honoree accepted the Resolution from Sen. Glover.