I had tried to keep myself as anonymous as possible. Most of you have probably guessed who I am. My name is Eddie Miller. I am a 1985 graduate of Parklane Academy. I came through when the switch was made from 2A to 3A. I had some great examples to follow in coaching. There was Charlie Newlon, Steve Sasser, Terry Giltner, Dan Lewmon, Darryl Brock, Ken Jackson, and the one I still remain close too Dale Watts. Coach Lewman was the one who said in junior high football that I had million dollar hands and ten cent feet. I was able to observe Mr. Billy Swindle as Headmaster.
I still try to live my life by one of the signs on Mr. Swindle's office wall. Of course I was not trying to live my life by the sign when I was in junior high because I got to view it regularly. The sign said if being a Christian was a crime would there be enough evidence to convict you. Mr. Swindle it may not have sunk in at the time but it has now.
One friendship I made at Parklane was years in the making. Carol Reeves was my eighth grade vocabulary teacher. I was a pain in her tail. When I got the call to help coach Watts as a student coach; she was his girls' assistant. She treated me as an equal and forgot all of the strife I put her through. It could not have been easy.
I graduated from Parklane in 1985, attended Southwest for two years, and got my BS three years later at USM. I coached and taught at Humphreys for three years, then Centreville for six yers. I worked in retail for 13 years. After that I came back and coached, taught, and was in administration at ASC. I have coached and taught at Oak Forest Academy these last four years.
I have had the opportunity to work with several heads of the MAIS. My first year even though I was coaching north of Jackson our conference consisted of Manchester, Canton, Simpson, Copiah and Brookhaven. I had a little guard that was the girls' MVP of the district. At that time MVPs did not automatically go to the all star game. None of the south other than my district had seen my player play. Moochie Britt whispered to me you better go to the meeting or your girl will not make it. He was spot on, if I had not been at the meeting I do not thinks she would have made it. There was a coach Blair from Bowling Green and he suggested that there was no one in a single A conference that was worthy of the game. JA was loaded, Bowling Green was loaded, Simpson had two good girls who were ranked under mine, Rebul was loaded, so after some talk we left the conference out. Their representative did not fight it because his girl was a two seed. Well we wrote the players down wrong and it created a violation of the rules. Mr. Bevelaque called me into his office Monday morning and said get to the home office in an hour. Mr. Don Souder called us in and told us the problem and told us how he would fix the problem. I am telling you I never wanted to be on the other side of the table from that man again.
I had a little dealing with David Derrick when he headed up the MAIS. I remember he helpful he was in getting my social studies endorsement for Centreville
I have worked very closely with Dr. Shane Blanton our current Executive Director. He taught me classes during my time in the MAIS Leadership Institute. He has given me excellent advice in my career path. He helped me with assignments while completing my MA at the University of Concordia at Irvine. He allowed me to be on the accreditation committee for Greenville Christian School.
We are have gone through a couple of crazy weeks. I do not know where it will lead us. I know that the MAIS has laid out a plan for member schools that they can follow. This plan has several options. The plan has resources for the individual schools to research and create their own plan. Oak Forest has gone all online. Our headmaster, Jason Brabham, has done an excellent job laying out our path. It will not be easy but I trust Dr. Blanton and his path to get us through this time. I hope that you do too.