In Memory of Mrs. Jean Miller, 1950-2021


Shane Baran, NFA Red & White Reporter

On October 19th, 2021 the NFA community lost a valued member when Mrs. Jean Miller, who had devoted half of her life to Norwich Free Academy and the Campus Safety department, passed away at the age of 71. For over 30 years she had been a member of the NFA community, doing everything she could to make an impact on everyone on campus. Not only by attending almost every home sporting event there was (and cheering student athletes on,) but as a member of the Campus Safety department, where she was impactful by helping kids make good choices and be better people. She was very well known for giving people second chances and – instead of bringing a kid straight to the office – she would talk to students and give advice so they wouldn’t get in trouble again. If a student had misbehaved in a way that didn’t warrant a second chance, she made sure that the student learned from their mistake, and really tried to make everyone a good student.


 The entire school has felt this impact of her loss. Mrs.Miller was such a positive person and shared her love for each day with everyone in efforts to lift up other people. Mrs. Donna Henry, a longtime friend and colleague in the campus safety department, said that “you almost can’t put a value on the impact her positivity had, because everyday, she made the day better.” Mrs. Henry also said Mrs.Miller was the first female campus security officer at NFA, so she would make jokes about Mrs. Miller being her hero. “The way she worked with kids gave me an idea of how I should do things and to give people second chances.” Mr. Jason Bakoulis, Head of the NFA Physical Education department shared a memory of how everyday, Mrs.Miller and he would race to school, to see who could open up the school first. Even in a task that might seem unpleasant to some – waking up early to rush to work – Mrs. Miller found a way to relish her responsibilities and make the job fun. Because of the relationship the two established, Coach Bakoulis had all of his football players wear a “JM” sticker on their helmets after Miller passed away.


Even at age 71 she was still a believer in her core values. Staying fit and active, making everyone’s day better, and helping in any way she can. She was training for a swimming competition the summer before she had passed, was always greeting people with a smile and a “Good Morning” at her guard booth near parent drop off, and the night before she passed, she had volunteered to work the field hockey game because she was so excited to see the girls play. Mrs. Miller was NFA. She embodied the energetic atmosphere and school pride that comes with NFA, and she lived that everyday.  Though she may have passed away, her legacy and spirit will remain at NFA for many years to come.


Mrs. Jean Miller at a NFA Field Hockey Game. Photo by Laura Howe.