GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - There a new face at the Kaibab Learning Center. Richard Miller, from Erie, Pa., started his duties as administrator at the center Jan. 18. He took over for Janice Rodriguez, who announced her departure in October. Despite a week of snowstorms, which moved over the Grand Canyon area Jan. 18-24, Miller said he was enjoying his new position.
"I'm enjoying it. I've always been involved with children. That's why I went to get a school degree so I could work with children," Miller said. "There are a lot of changes going on. This place has a lot of potential and I think we can meet that potential. I think we provide a vital service (and) everything we plan, kids will be first and foremost. It's based around them."
Miller holds a bachelor's degree in social work from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., and came to the Kaibab Learning Center following a stint at a local YMCA there. He found the opening at the center after a brief online search.
"I had been working for the YMCA of Greater Erie for a while. I had pretty much moved up as high as I could go and I was looking for something (else)," Miller said. "I love the Grand Canyon. I've visited here in the past. I never thought I would live here and work. It was a good opportunity for me.
Though he's never lived in a national park before, Miller said he is no stranger to snow.
"Everyone asks me how I like the snow. When I left Erie there was this much on the ground," Miller said.
As administrator for the learning center, Miller's duties include staffing at the center, following all rules and regulation, adhering to the center's new curriculum and more.
It's been a busy year for the center. School officials there were recently awarded a Quality First grant, totaling $15,000 a year. Money from the grant will be used for equipment, teacher training, and other areas specified in the grant. The center will also host an Americorps volunteer, officials said. More information on the Kaibab Learning Center can be found online at www.kaibablearningcenter.blogspot.com or by calling (928) 638-6333.