“It’s all about the kids,” said David Miller, the new director of the Carroll C. Kendall unit of the Boys & Girls Club in Sequim.
The father of two adult children and a high school sophomore, Miller is in his first month on the job and finding out that budgeting for the nonprofit is quite different from budgeting for the military, where he spent five years in the Army.
“Everything’s to the penny here,” said the Class of 1979 Port Angeles graduate.
After graduating from St. Martin’s College in Lacey, a stint in the Army and working for the City of Port Angeles, Miller injured his back. The next path he took retrained him as a special needs paraeducator, which brought him to the Sequim School District, where he also drove buses. When the director’s position came open, he decided and was encouraged to apply. He began his duties on Sept. 11.
And what a list of duties they are: running the unit’s multiple programs, overseeing a staff of 10, managing daily operations with the facility, administering food services and supervising bus drivers.
“Basically, it’s making things run smoothly between 2:45-6 p.m. after students are out of school.”
Thus far, Miller sees his staff members as the unit’s greatest asset.
“I think our staff works really well. I couldn’t be prouder of the staff; they are amazing,” Miller said. “And I think the programs are running well.”
When asked what changes he’d like to see, Miller said, “I think we need to really push our programs and keep kids active by setting up more programs that tie into the schools because it shouldn’t be all playtime. I want to see more programs run and bring a certain discipline to the club’s activities. I also want the public to know this is a safe and amazing place for their kids to go and that it’s for all kids.”
Miller said one thing he’d like to accomplish is for the club to run seamlessly when management has to be away, to be self-sufficient.
“We get kids all the time who say, ‘You guys saved me from dropping out.’ My goal is 100 percent graduating of the kids that come here.”
Miller noted that average daily attendance runs between 220-240, which translates to 20-25 percent of Greywolf and Haller elementary schools combined. Some 30 teens use the club with programs and activities designed especially for their interests. Another goal is to increase attendance from Greywolf — the club buses its students back and forth.
“When there are 240 kids in here, this building rocks!” Miller laughed.
Miller added that he’s 15 years from retirement and plans on being with the unit for a long, long time.