Trends In Education
service and you’re meeting people,” he says. “You’re pleasing
— you’re having to work hard, and work fast and work
smart. You have to have good customer service, and you’re
taking care of problems. People’s food is important, just like
After graduating from high school, Millay earned a bachelor’s
degree in elementary education and special education
from Western Kentucky University. His sister, Beth, who was
preparing for a teaching career in special education inspired
him to enter the field.
“I’ve always had a heart for the vulnerable and working
with special needs,” he points out. “After taking a course in
it, I changed my way. I moved from business administration
— I had a lot of accounting, a background in economics and
really loved that part, too. But, I just felt the heart and call
to do teaching. I felt a vocational calling, really. That’s how I
look at what I do.”
Later on while working for Kentucky’s school system, he
earned his master’s degree in education from Western Kentucky
and a doctorate in educational administration from the
University of Louisville.
During his tenure as superintendent, Millay mentored new
superintendents on behalf of the Kentucky Department of
Education to help build his profession, which he says has
been one of the best joys of his career.
“I got to mentor some great people and build some great
relationships to help pass on what has been passed on to
me,” he notes.
As superintendent, Millay also helped develop digital
literacy and instruction by putting computers into the hands
of secondary students and teachers. He points out that his
district was the first in Kentucky to offer one-to-one, nontraditional
instruction by using iPads and Chromebooks.
It provided equity and access in learning and helped close
achievement gaps among students. The district was part of a
pilot program with the state that allowed teachers to deliver
learning packets, so students could continue with their school
work using computers, even on snow days. By having access
to these devices, students didn’t lag behind.
In 2019, Millay received a Best Practices Award from the
Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Learning
and Continuous Improvement that recognized his district’s
It also honored Millay for his innovation and educational
leadership and for establishing successful career pathways,
college business/industry partnerships, and student transitions.
The program offered nearly 30 career pathways for vocational
and college-bound students to pursue that included
manufacturing, construction, business, entrepreneurship,
health care and computer science. The pathways program
was also chosen by the state as a model for all high schools
to follow in Kentucky. Not only that, Millay has received top
recognition from the National School Boards Association for
his notable initiative.
“In our community here, we’re going to be looking more at
the workforce needs and making opportunities for all kids,”
he says. “We want them all to have a life wage. The pathway
is not just so they can get a certificate — we want them to do
something with it. We want them to be able to raise a family
and feel like they can afford to live in this community.”
HEADING TO MARTIN COUNTY
Millay says that he was won over by many things that led
him to take on the new job as Martin County’s superintendent,
especially its rich tradition of academic success as a
Millay poses with one of the first students he taught who went on to become
a successful employee for the Kentucky school system.
Millay celebrates the achievement of spelling bee champ Roman Tarpley of
Jensen Beach Elementary.