High school hit me like a truck. Going into Arrowhead High School with kids I did not know put my stomach in a knot. After being with the same group of students for the last nine years, I struggled with leaving my connections behind. My first exposure to the student body was through soccer camp the August before school started.
At the beginning of camp, the coaches introduced themselves, rattling off their names like bullets. However, when it came time for Coach Miller, the mood shifted. His tone was calming, his words meaningful and full. Even though he was not going to be my coach for the coming season, I knew he would make a difference in my life.
Tryouts passed, and the season began. But even with the success of the new team, the beginning of the new school year loomed over me like a cloud. I checked my schedule and noticed I had Mr. Miller. A smile stretched across my face and my mood flipped. With the experience I had with him during tryouts, I knew this class would be great.
Without being acclimated to high school life, the first day created problems. My friends supported me, but there was a void - something that could only be filled by someone special. I walked into social studies not knowing what to expect, but Mr. Miller’s uplifting and including class untangled the knot in my stomach and helped me realize my niche.
My bond with Mr. Miller strengthened my sophomore year. As a coach for my soccer season, Mr. Miller continued to allow me to enjoy the sport I love. Even through raining practices, he would strive for perfection without being fixated on it. During the season, yoga sessions were appreciated by the team (especially when it was a break from an exhausting practice). His daily devotion for the success for the team rubbed off on me, his passion something I will never forget.
The most important thing Mr. Miller taught me, however, is how to be a good person. His cool and collected attitude was gratifying, showing me failure is a part of life. His energetic class and down-to-earth teaching style allowed me to hold myself together, the base of a house of cards. From every “I’m doing well” in the hallway to a simple smile at the beginning of class every day, thank you. From the bond we have now back to when I stumbled around Arrowhead as a freshman, I will forever cherish the moments we shared.