Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Miller to take the reins at Ephrata High

Managing Editor | June 12, 2024 6:56 PM

EPHRATA — The Ephrata School District has selected Ashlie Miller to take over as principal of Ephrata High School after Aaron Cummings, her predecessor, was selected to take on the assistant superintendent role for the Ephrata School District. 

“I just want you to know, we're ecstatic to have (her) join our team. She's going to push us with some innovative thinking, innovative ideas, and Ephrata is better off because Ashlie is joining us and we're just super, super excited to have her,” said Ken Murray, incoming superintendent for Ephrata schools.

Miller, who will be the first female principal at EHS, said she was excited to make the move from Dallas, Ore. — just west of Salem — to Ephrata. The move is a solid fit for her, she said, because she enjoys working in smaller school districts and at the high school level so that she can have deeper interactions with students. High schoolers have a different level of academic thought and social experiences, and that appeals to her.

“I love working with high school-level kids,” Miller said. “I like the ability to have deeper conversations with them. I think that’s the main appeal to me.” 

Miller said she has no set agenda as she steps into the principal’s position on July 1 and works to lead the staff and faculty there to ensure Tigers are set up for success. She said she prefers to get to know the community, understand the needs of the campus and develop relationships with her faculty and staff before she makes any changes.

Miller speaks both English and Spanish and has extensive experience in K-12 and post-secondary education, according to an announcement from the Ephrata School District.  She earned her Doctorate of Education from Portland State University, her Spanish Language Teaching and Secondary Education master’s degrees from Southern Oregon University and the University of Phoenix and her bachelor’s in both Romance Languages and International Studies from the University of Oregon. 

Miller is also a former captain in the U.S. Air Force. 

Miller said she was careful in choosing to apply for the EHS position. She said she wanted to make certain that she was moving somewhere long-term. She researched the turnover rate for staff in the district, looked at the community as a whole and looked at whether or not the district’s staff and environment were a good fit for her. 

“I care more about the environment and who I’m working with more than anything. I think it makes or breaks your experience. Essentially, you have to be supported,” she said. 

Moving her family, the research was important. She has two children, Aysha and Chayse, 19 and 22, respectively. Her husband, Brandon Miller, will be joining her in Ephrata.

Miller said she understands that the community will need a chance to get to know her as well. She intends to have a period of time on her calendar as she settles in for parents, students and community members to meet her and talk about what they want EHS to be for students and families. She knows being a principal isn’t just a job – it’s a lifestyle that involves time and personal investment in students, faculty, staff and the community as a whole. 

Murray said he knows Miller will be a great fit for EHS and he’s excited about the depth of knowledge and new perspective she brings to the principal’s chair.

“Ashlie is absolutely the right person to lead Ephrata High School,” said Murray. “Her diverse background and outside perspective will be key to building and growing the strong foundation we have at EHS. Ashlie has a tremendous amount to offer to our high school and our district. I’m excited to work with her.”

R. Hans Miller may be reached via email at rmiller@columbiabasinherald.com. He is not related to Ashlie Miller.

Ashlie Miller, incoming principal for Ephrata High School, poses for a photo with her daughter, Aysha, in red, and son Chayse, in blue. Miller holds several degrees and is fluent in English and Spanish.
    New Ephrata High principal Ashlie Miller.