A Matter of Principal

By Phoebe Payne

Our fifth and final teacher appreciation article is a little different from the others. For this, we interviewed probably the most prominent member of the Tri-City Prep staff: our principal. Both an administrator and a teacher, Mrs. Keri Milliken certainly has a lot to say about the school and her past experiences.

As far as her experience, she’s been at TCP since its opening. Milliken grew up around the bay area of San Francisco, where her passion for teaching, especially the English language, was nurtured early. After gaining college education in these fields, she spent some more time in the bay area before coming to Arizona to join the TCP staff.

Milliken always knew she wanted to be a teacher. As a child, she would set up small ‘classes’ and teach the other children in her neighborhood. Clearly, she pursued this into adulthood, as well as other childhood interests.

These childhood interests also happen to be what she teaches. Shakespeare was her first love, as her mother used to read it to her as a young girl until she was old enough to read it herself. She will be teaching this class next year.

She alternates each year between teaching her passions, with this year being dedicated to film studies. She states that she cannot remember exactly when she developed a taste for cinema, only that it had been a constant in her life since her youth. In this class, movie culture is taught, as well as cinematography, well-known and acclaimed movies, and more. 

When asked what her favorite class to teach is, she paused to deliberate for quite a while. “They’re both so different, it’s hard to choose,” she said eventually. “Shakespeare was my first love though.”

Milliken gave a laugh when asked what her favorite part of being a teacher was. “The students are unique and interesting, and I love getting to know them. It’s great to see them become amazing adults, knowing I was a part of it.”

Finally, I asked if she had any parting words to all the seniors graduating in less than a week. “There’s nothing I can say that doesn’t sound cliché…  Basically, be true to yourself, live a life without regrets, make good choices… Lead by example.” While she says she will miss the seniors dearly, she cannot wait to hear from them as they venture outside the TCP world.