July, 23 1938 - July, 14 2019
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Joan Miller, long time teacher at Blue Rock School and Board Trustee. Joan was many things: she was a loving partner, mother, grandmother, animal enthusiast and part-time farmer, often commuting to school with baby goats or chicks in tow. She was a trick rider, scuba diver, storyteller supreme, a great listener, a searcher who questioned our human role on earth and lived her life with great purpose, a strong sense of humor and generosity.
From 1987 to 2007 Joan worked at the Blue Rock School and was a close collaborator and essential support to the founder, Peggy Flinsch. Joan started as an administrator and then for seventeen years was the head Kindergarten teacher and a mentor. After that, she continued on the Board of Trustees providing invaluable help to the school. One of Joan’s gifts was her ability to allow children the space to discover for themselves. Her inherent respect for the essence inside each of us, that must question and experience life for itself in order to truly learn, defined her as a master teacher. In her own words she described some of her approach:
One important question was how could I bring up ideas in such a way that does not include my opinion, but rather calls a child to wonder? Then the child can discover for himself through his play how he experiences a particular idea. For instance, when we are outside and watching the season change from summer to fall, the leaves begin to drop and are carried by the wind. A child asks “Can you see the wind?” Another responds, “Yes, it is carrying the leaves.” The teacher then says, “So, you see it that way.” Another child might then say, “No, it is not the wind, just the leaves we see.” The children run and try to catch the leaves, but the question is still there… And so the dance of questions begins. For me the question can give life to the moment, the moment of relationship with the child, the class and with myself… There are many different ways the child has of exploring his identity. Who am I? How do I relate to my world, to others and to myself? What is out there? These are the big questions that have kept me in Kindergarten for so many years and these are still my questions. - Joan Miller, BRS Annual Newsletter, 2007
We invite you to join us and her family
as we gather to celebrate the life of this wonderful woman.
Saturday, November 23, 3:00PM
You are welcome to bring a memory to share orally or in writing.
There will also be music and a tree ceremony
(on the hillside above the Kindergarten, so please wear comfortable shoes).
Blue Rock School, Multi-Purpose Room,
110 Demarest Mill Road, West Nyack, NY 10960
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 845.627.0234
In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in Joan’s name to support the Blue Rock School Financial Aid Fund. Joan served on the Financial Aid Committee for over twelve years and was committed to BRS’ inclusive mission to provide tuition support to approximately half of our students.
This fund allows us to continue that important work. Thank you.