It’s an award that will come as no surprise to former students of a longtime Salina teacher and volunteer. The Salina Community Foundation on Tuesday named Ken Miller as the 2014 recipient of the Salina Award for Outstanding Citizenship.
Miller, known to his students as “Bio-Ken”, spent a career as an inspiring science teacher at Salina South High School. In 2013 he was inducted into the Kansas Teacher’s Hall of Fame. After retiring, Miller became a full-time community volunteer.
Miller has been a dedicated volunteer for the Visit Salina / Salina Area Chamber of Commerce sports programs. He started volunteering back in 1981 while he was still a fulltime teacher. Miller has helped with state basketball, football, volleyball, and wrestling in Salina. He also was a volunteer at the Big 8 Women’s Basketball Tournament, and now the NJCAA Women’s Basketball National Championships in Salina.
Since 2006 Miller has mentored youth, working with the Greater Salina Community Foundation’s Youth GrantMaker’s Council.
Miller has volunteered other countless hours doing things like driving a church bus and helping as a board member, and president of the board, of Consumer Credit Counseling.
Miller has served as a volunteer, board member, and camp director for Camp Hope, a camp for child cancer patients. He also volunteers with the Love Chloe Foundation, a Salina organization that helps children diagnosed with cancer.
In the summers Miller helps with the CASTLE program at Sunrise Presbyterian Church. The free program engages children in crafts, music, reading, and physical exercise. During the school year, Miller volunteers at Stewart and Schilling Elementary Schools, reading to children.
Miller said that after retiring he found he had “more time to give than money”. “I guess I’m a little selfish,” he said, “because it is truly better to give than receive.” Miller concluded “I’m a blessed man”.
The Salina Award for Outstanding Citizenship dates back to 1975. It is currently administered by the Salina Community Foundation.