Mike Miller Elementary PTA receives national recognition

Mike Miller Elementary has only been open for six years, but it already receiving national recognition
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 8:35 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Mike Miller Elementary School in Aberdeen has only been open for six years, but it is already receiving national recognition.

The school’s PTA received a National PTA Award of Excellence certification, becoming the only school in South Dakota to do so this year.

”The School of Excellence isn’t just an award that we were given. We earned it through the work that we did the last two years to strengthen our family-school partnership,” said PTA Vice President Erin Doering.

Those family-school partnerships run deep as many PTA members have been with the school since it first opened in 2016.

”I came into this school with my oldest children being kindergartners, so they were here the very first year that the school opened. Our PTA started from scratch,” said Doering.

Although the school itself is new, the experience of starting from scratch is what bonded the PTA members.

“Mike Miller is unique because we are very new. They haven’t had a new school in many years in Aberdeen. So, starting from scratch was a little challenging to begin with. We weren’t really sure how to do things, but we all worked through it together. I think it gave all of us that are in the PTA a stronger bond with one another” said PTA President Shelley Lovrien.

Students of the PTA members are proud of their parents for their dedication.

”I love my mom being on PTA because it gives me more confidence to be a better person because she’s also being a better person, which motivates me a lot,” said Doering’s daughter Arianna Doering.

The award-winning PTA, however, had to grow to become what it is today.

”We were pretty happy our first year when we had maybe 15 people show up for our first meeting. As it stands right now, we’re at about 90 members,” said Doering.

Through this award, Mike Miller Elementary earned $7,500 in grants, something the PTA put toward making their school safe during the pandemic.

”One of the ways that we were able to use it was additional face masks for our staff, additional Clorox wipes, sanitizing, things like that that were used heavily last year and into this year as well,” said Mike Miller Elementary Principal Nicole Schutter.

When Mike Miller Elementary first opened, it didn’t even have a PTA. Today, the Parent-Teacher Association plans to continue its service of excellence.

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