Brandywine educator Steve Miller remembered

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Longtime Brandywine educator Steve Miller, who died Dec. 20 after a three-year battle with cancer, is being remembered as a caring and dedicated professional who truly loved teaching.

“He is one of the most outstanding teachers I’ve ever worked with,” said Wynne Baumgartner, who co-taught with Miller for several years. “He liked being in the classroom with the kids and he had a really good sense of humor. We really thought that instruction should be fun.”

Steve Miller

Steve Miller

Miller, 53, taught middle school science at Brandywine for nearly two decades.

Baumgartner said Miller was known for his “inertia chair challenge” in which he would ask students to sit back in a chair and stand straight up without using their hands, leaning forward or shifting their weight.

“All the kids would want to try and beat the inertia chair,” she said. “Of course they couldn’t.

“He loved doing quirky and funny stuff.”

Brandywine High School Principal Pat Weckel said Miller was one of the most dedicated professionals he knew, often spending at least one day every weekend at the school grading papers or preparing lessons.

“He didn’t miss very many because he was so dedicated to his students,” Weckel said. “He was just a genuinely nice, hardworking person.”

After earning a teaching degree from Western Michigan University, Miller began working as a science teacher at Brandywine Middle School where he remained for 19 years.

Weckel said Miller was well respected by his peers and was known for his ability to reach all students.

“I’ve had two special education teachers tell me, separately, that he is one of the best teachers in the school because he is so good at getting to everybody,” Weckel said.

Miller is survived by his wife, Melissa, and three children, Luke, Kate and Olivia.

Funeral services were held last week in St. Joseph.