An excellent education is both a means to a good life and an end in itself. If elected, I will be a firm advocate for the children of District 96. I will work to ensure that the board and the administration’s top priority is to advance the District’s educational mission: “to provide for each student a challenging education which promotes academic excellence, encourages creativity, develops critical thinking, and fosters respect for self, community, and the environment.” 

Academic excellence is absolutely necessary and must always be the main focus of our district, but this is far from sufficient; our schools must also develop the emotional, social, physical and creative potentials of every child. 

As a board member, I will work to ensure that we maintain the fiscal strength of the district and that we allocate district funds wisely, cost-effectively and in ways that have a real impact on the educational achievements of our students. 

My background in finance, as a partner in a proprietary trading firm and in banking at UBS prior to that, gives me the knowledge to ask the right questions about district finances and to make sound financial decisions.

I have an A.B. in physics from the University of Chicago (1985) and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1992). Ideas must be supported by evidence, so when evaluating board goals and policies or administration proposals, I will demand to see the evidence showing how they will advance our educational mission. 

Conversely, when evaluating the district’s progress in meeting its goals, I will insist that evaluations be based on meaningful data. I would like to see the administration study the practices of highly rated districts whose performance we would like to emulate. 

The board has four duties: maintaining clear, respectful, two-way communication with all stakeholders; setting district goals and policies; employing a superintendent to meet these goals and manage the district; and controlling district finances. 

A district’s progress and strength is tied to how the board operates when performing these duties: Board members must collaborate with each other and with the superintendent, and the board must focus on issues that directly impact student education. 

If elected, I will endeavor to work constructively with fellow board members and the superintendent, aiming to join our efforts to achieve real, continuous improvement in the district. 

I have lived in Riverside with my wife, Jacqueline, and my two children, Ethan and Kyra, since 2007. Ethan is a sixth-grader at Hauser and Kyra is a second-grader at Central. I helped establish a PTO-sponsored science fair at Central and helped organize the last two fairs. I served on the Olmsted Society Board for two years and am currently the co-chair of the Lecture Committee.

I am an active and dedicated member of the District 96 community. My science training, financial and statistical experience, and years of cooperative leadership in my firm will allow me to contribute as an independent-minded member of the District 96 Board.

Jeffrey Miller is a candidate for the Riverside School District 96 Board of Education.