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Mr. Louis Miller

Career high school founder was dedicated

The man credited with founding Terrebonne Parish's vocational high school is being remembered as soft spoken, dependable and dedicated.

Louis Miller died at age 82 on June 10 at Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital in Raceland.

Miller's former colleagues said the Ethel native wasn't afraid to seek help, was prepared for every situation and never let problems linger.

"He always gave me encouragement to deal with problems that faced the school system. He made me feel good about things we were doing together. He had a great outlook on life," said former Terrebonne school Superintendent Paul Fournier.

Miller received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Southern University and did additional graduate work at Nicholls State University, Southeastern Louisiana University and Louisiana Tech University.

A teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal and district supervisor, Miller worked with Terrebonne public schools for 38 years. He retired in 1994.

"He had a good heart. He loved his work, loved the people he dealt with and he was a very good family man," Fournier said.

He is credited as being a driving force in the creation of the Terrebonne Career and Technical High School.

"As a state we've embarked on the Jump Start program that's focusing on careers and our colleges, but Mr. Miller jump started Terrebonne votech years ago. He was a visionary," Terrebonne school Superintendent Philip Martin said. "I assure you, people are making their living now because of the vision Mr. Miller had."

When he was named supervisor of vocational and technical education, Miller aspired to create a program for students who didn't plan to go to college. This eventually led to an effort to create the parish's vocational technical high school.

"He worked very hard to get it where it was when he retired. He did a lot for the facility," Fournier added.

Terrebonne School Board member L.P. Bordelon said he first met Miller 51 years ago when the school district was going through integration. Miller worked at Southdown High School, the parish's only blacks-only high school, and, after integration, Bordelon took over as principal. The two would later work together in the central office.

"He was an excellent person to work with, very professional. Always a gentleman," Bordelon said. "He really was an asset to the school system, to the entire community and to his church. I don't think you'll find a finer man."

Prior to Tuesday's meeting, the Terrebonne Parish School Board held a moment of silence to mark the death of several former employees, Miller included. Immediately afterward, Martin took a moment to draw attention to Miller's contributions.

"He was the epitome of dignity, a class act and a classic Southern gentleman. I've never seen him angry or upset. He had this calming effect on people," Martin said.

An Army veteran, Miller served in the Korean War. He also spent eight more years in the Louisiana National Guard.

He was an active member of New Rising Sun Baptist Church.

Miller is survived by his wife Martina, daughters Joaquina Washington and Kimri Miller, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Fournier said he was sad he was unable to attend Miller's funeral.

"He'll be missed," he said.

Louis Miller

Mr. Louis Miller​



Senior Staff Writer Jacob Batte Copyright © 2016 — All rights reserved.

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