They’ve got the music in them

Published 9:39 am Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Danielle Miller wanted a career teaching music but it all came together for her in a way she didn’t exactly expect.

“It’s been a long road, but music is where I’m suppose to be. It’s so much fun,” Miller said.

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The first year music teacher at Sherman Avenue Elementary School wanted to be a high school band director, but as a young college student the thought of wrangling a large group of teenagers barely younger than herself was overwhelming. Instead the Monticello native chose to major in paralegal studies and minor in music education at the University of Southern Mississippi.

After a few years dedicated to being a paralegal in Jackson, Miller decided she was ready for a change and discovered a music teacher opening at her church’s academy.

She took the alternate route to gain teacher certification, meaning because she had a bachelor’s degree she was able to gain certification through certain steps set out by the state. She taught while pursuing her master’s in elementary education at Mississippi College.

“You don’t have to get your master’s to get certified through the alternate route,” Miller said, but it was something she wanted to do.

Over the past 13 years, Miller has taught different subjects in various schools in the Jackson area like the Education Center School, Park Place Christian Academy, Flowood Elementary, Jackson Public Schools and Rankin County Schools.

Her husband, who works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was moved to Vicksburg in February, and looking for a new opportunity that focused on music education, Miller decided to apply for jobs in Vicksburg.

“I feel like I’ve come back to where I’m suppose to be,” Millers said.

The couple drives to Vicksburg together every morning from their home in Flowood. They have two teenage children who were not interested in changing schools at this point in their educational careers.

“A year ago if somebody would have said, ‘You will both be working in Vicksburg in a year.’ I would have laughed,” Miller said.

As the music teacher at Sherman Avenue, Miller sees students from pre-K to third grade on an eight-day rotation.

She loves being able to make a difference in a child’s life by being their teacher.

“You never know what that child has been through,” Miller said.

Many students in the school district visited the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra two weeks ago, and currently her classes are working on a Veterans Day Program and will put a group together for the annual Vicksburg Christmas Caroling Contest.