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Mary Lyon Foundation Updates

Championing Education and Community

Ellen “Elle” Miller has called West County home for 40 years. When she purchased an old farmhouse at 22 years old, she set the stage for a life dedicated to service. As a former teacher and current trustee and secretary of the Mary Lyon Foundation, Elle’s story is one of sustained commitment born from a desire to give back to the community that has been her home for four decades.

The West County landscape has changed significantly during Elle’s tenure, but the same community spirit has endured. Raising her children far from busy city streets and providing a nurturing environment was a priority for Elle. Even as their children left the nest, Elle and her husband consciously decided to remain local, doubling down on the deep roots they’ve cultivated in the community.

Elle’s teaching career was more than just a job; it was a source of connection and community. When she retired in 2020, the absence of daily interactions with students and families led her to volunteer work. Recognizing the importance of maintaining ties to the community, Elle began delivering food for the Foundation in the summer of 2021.

Her involvement with the Foundation didn’t stop there. Elle soon joined the Mary Lyon Foundation Board of Trustees, expanding her impact and contributing her knowledge and lived experience as a career educator in our community. Having secured numerous teaching grants during her career, Elle now serves on the committee responsible for granting funds, a full-circle experience that allows her to witness the direct impact the Foundation has on teachers and students. Some of these grants are now supporting the children of her former students!

For Elle, a life of service is the only way she knows how to live. Her role as secretary for the board keeps her connected to the organization’s mission, ensuring that every detail is documented and recorded. Recording the goals and accomplishments of the Foundation has made Elle acutely aware of the significance of the organization’s impact.

Elle’s motivation to join the board was clear: to support our students, teaching staff, and the greater community. Her dedication shines through in her work on teacher grants and advocacy for educators who often dip into their own pockets to provide necessary supplies for their students. The Foundation’s mission aligns perfectly with Elle’s passion for education and community service.

Elle applauds her fellow board members, describing them as “go-getters” with an impressive work ethic and steadfast commitment. Her collaborative efforts with like-minded individuals fuels her passion for community service and creating positive change.

Looking ahead, Elle envisions more significant investments in community healthcare for school children, the continuation of scholarship programs, and a concerted effort to combat food scarcity. Her desire to expand accessibility to community services reflects a deep understanding of the evolving needs of West County and a commitment to creating a better future for all.

West County has a lifelong advocate, dedicated volunteer, and compassionate leader in Elle Miller. Her journey from the classroom to the boardroom exemplifies the transformative power of service and the enduring impact one individual can have on a community.