Today’s Achievers, Tomorrow’s Leaders: Flathead Executives Lead With Kindness

Marley Miller, a senior at Flathead High School, is someone who leads and coaches with kindness, empathy and maturity.

Flathead Career Center director Mike Kelly noted Miller’s natural tendency to seek out ways to help and does so with “a bright, positive energy that lifts others with him,” in his letter naming the college student. International Baccalaureate and All-State Academic Athlete.

“Marley stands out as one of the most impressive, driven, engaged and kind students at Flathead High School,” Kelly wrote.

The Achievers of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow program recognizes the academic achievement and community involvement of high school students who contribute to improving the lives of others. The award is sponsored by Logan Health in conjunction with the Daily Inter Lake. In addition to recognition, recipients select a school club or activity to receive a $250 donation.

Miller donates the money to Brave Mentoring, a program he participated in throughout high school and is a member of the leadership team.

“It’s really helped the freshmen at our high school — making it a welcoming environment for them,” Miller said.

Miller has taken on various leadership roles nationally and locally. At the state level, Flathead’s student body vice president is a past president of Montana HOSA (a health professions organization) and is currently one of Montana’s state officers DECA (an organization focused on companies). He was also selected to attend American Legion Boys State 2021, where he was elected governor by other student delegates in a mock election at the Educational Government Experience.

He noted that he was a junior when he was president of HOSA, where activities went virtual due to Covid.

“It was really difficult, but it taught me a lot of things,” he said.

As a junior, he was the youngest of the leaders at the time.

“I really had to step up my role there and learn to, you know, earn my place among people older than me,” he said.

INITIALLY, MILLER sought out as many opportunities as possible, while overcoming challenges at home, to boost her chances of getting scholarships to go to college as a medical student and ease the financial burden on her family. His ultimate goal is to become an anesthesiologist.

During his freshman year, his family lived for four months in West Glacier where he made the roughly 1.5-hour commute to high school a priority, sometimes spending the night at his grandfather’s house in town to go to sports training.

“I really like Flathead,” he said.

Around this time, her father was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. About a year and a half later, there was another blow to the family.

“In 2020, my mother-in-law, who has been in my life since I was 3, was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Miller said.

“It really made me want to do better and find more opportunities to help my family and myself and put less stress on them. I guess the root of it all is I want to put less stress on my family with my own financial issues… making sure they don’t have to worry about college, at the same time trying to inspire other people to do great things,” he said.

What he discovered was how much he loved being involved and that he could inspire others, help them succeed or learn new skills such as DJing for events, the latter of which he has learned about a year ago when the student council purchased a full DJ setup. . This led to him doing prom and homecoming DJing and landing a job at Peak Audio Kalispell.

“I’m now teaching three other freshmen to be DJs so they can take on that role when I leave and I’ll be starting a club here soon – hopefully – between the two high schools,” he said. . “It would give students the opportunity to become DJs and get paid.”

Being down to earth and “being yourself” are important qualities of good leaders, Miller said.

“Being really thoughtful, like taking each [person] on the side, checking in with them, taking care of them, making sure everyone is doing everything right, and that everyone is fine – mentally and physically – and comfortable in their own space is of course a great thing,” he said.

Although Miller has a laid-back leadership style, he isn’t afraid to take charge when the situation calls for it to keep people on track, but he does so with care and concern.

It’s an honor when a teacher or staff member approaches her with a new leadership opportunity, Miller said.

“I was really honored and really lucky to have such great people in my life to do this,” he said.

“I just want to be a good person and a good leader and help others because a lot of people are going through tough times. I just want people to have a good time in high school and [have] everything is going as well as possible,” he said.

Reporter Hilary Matheson can be reached at 758-4431 or by email at [email protected]

Learn more

Nomination Criteria for Today’s Winners, Tomorrow’s Leaders:

Eligibility: High school students from Flathead or Lake County.

Academics: Students who value their education by demonstrating academic responsibility (preferably they have a GPA of 3.0 or higher).

Character: Students who demonstrate integrity, compassion, service, excellence.

Citizenship: Students who maintain healthy communities through community service, volunteerism, or other contributions to their community and/or school.

Leadership: students who take initiative and are role models for others.

Forms are available at