Alva Review-Courier -

Supt. Miller to leave Freedom Schools on July 19


At Monday's noon board of education meeting, the Freedom school board and Superintendent James Miller agreed to revise his contract to expire on July 19. Miller's contract would have run until 2021, but the agreement included a lump sum payment of a little more than three months' pay of about $34,000. The severance pay, if it can be called that, will keep Miller's family afloat until he can find a new job.

Miller is technically on vacation until July 19, although he will be available by phone to school staff if needed, and he will be in and out of the office until then.

Miller's whole family attended the meeting to learn the board's decision on the spot.

In a Wednesday morning phone interview, Miller said the separation came because of “differences of vision for the future of the district.”

“I do know the board wants to do the best for the district,” he said. “They want to do the very best for the kids and the town. Just the methodology of how to get there was our difference.”

Miller, his wife, and their eight children – to be nine children around Aug. 9 – were busy packing Wednesday morning. They plan to move, with their animals, to the McAlester area, where Miller is from. His parents live there in a home Miller used to own, and other family also lives in the area. Until their future is determined, the Millers will stay in a guest cottage on a 35-acre farm owned by a member of Miller's family, which has space for their animals to live as well.

The reason they're leaving so quickly, Miller said, is that they want to be settled in their new home before the new baby comes. The Millers have their babies at home, and they don't want to be in the middle of moving when that happens. This way, said Miller, even if he finds a new job fairly quickly, his wife, children, and new baby can stay put until everyone's up and about and strong enough to pick up house and move again.

All in all, Miller finds the change exciting rather than upsetting.

“While this opportunity is now changing, God has something planned,” said Miller. “There's something he's got next for us, and I'm excited to see where that's going to take us, come tomorrow. I believe my job is to say 'Yes, Lord,' and follow where He leads. If you have trust and faith, when bad things happen, God works all things for the good of those who love Him. No matter what, all we have to do is say 'Yes, Lord,' and follow.”


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