PHS Profile: Dr. Rick Miller

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Rick Miller has been a history teacher at PHS for 23 years and currently teaches AP U.S. History and U.S. History I. He received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Rutgers University, where he pursued his doctorate in foreign policy.

Miller’s love of history started at a young age, beginning in elementary school. However, his passion for history blossomed as he entered high school.

“I loved my history classes in high school. In high school, one of my favorite teachers taught foreign policy, which was a brand new course, and it started my interest in foreign policy so I ended up pursuing that for my PhD,” Miller said. “So really, it was teachers that inspired me to love the subject.”

As Miller’s interests in history started to develop, he began to consider the possibility of teaching history as a career.

“[High school] was when I got inspired to actually teach history in the future, not just learn it,” Miller said.

Miller has taught both middle school and high school, but he prefers the high school teaching experience.

“I used to teach Civics for many years at John Witherspoon Middle School. I taught middle school and I loved it, but I think high school is where you start to see students really come into their own. They have passions and interests and I am really trying to engage those interests.”

Former students commend his passion for teaching and felt their learning experience in his class was rewarding.

“I really appreciated his exceptional enthusiasm in class. Personally, history has never been a strength of mine, and I think he really encouraged everyone to put in their best effort,” said Rachel Cheng ’18. “Overall, he just made the learning process really exciting, engaging, and one of the most exceptional experiences I’ve had [at] PHS.”

Miller believes history is truly an all-encompassing subject that can teach students more about others and themselves.

“I believe that history is one of those disciplines that we put everything you’re learning in all your courses together to figure out how to use our knowledge to be more productive in the world, to be better global citizens,” Miller said.

“[History] teaches us about the past and helps us learn about the challenges we face and about who we are, so we can better [the] world today.”

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