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Senior Spotlight: Marion-Franklin’s Abby Mills Prepares for a Career that Supports Young Learners

girl standing in front of red doors that read Marion Franklin High School

May 08, 2024 Since she was young, Marion-Franklin senior Abby Mills has known she was meant to be a teacher. Growing up, she loved pretending to teach. When she attended school at Parsons Elementary, she had the opportunity to take her teaching aspirations outside of her home and into a real classroom. 

“When I was in fifth grade, my PreK teacher let me be a PreK helper,” Mills said. “Getting to help those kids and see them grow was incredible.”

During her time as a helper, Mills bonded with Ally, one of the PreK students. She said Ally reminded her of herself when she was a PreK student. When Mills was in Parsons’ PreK program, she was shy. As a fifth grader, she wanted to be a person who helped students like Ally feel more comfortable in the classroom.

Soon after, Mills moved from Parsons to Buckeye Middle School and didn’t get the chance to continue working in the PreK classroom. Later that year, Mills ran into Ally’s mom. She shared how much Ally missed seeing her every day at Parsons. 

Moments like this assure Mills she is taking the correct path in her future. After graduation, she plans to study early childhood education at Lee University. Angela Nelson, Marion-Franklin High School’s assistant principal, thinks this path suits her well. 

“Abby is a strong representative and model of our Red Devil values and what we want [our students] to be,” Nelson said. “I think she would be an excellent educator for any school district.”

Mills continued to serve as a classroom leader throughout her high school years. When she first started at Marion-Franklin, she was shy and unsure of her role in the new building. However, COVID-19 resulted in an online start to her high school career, and once she was back in person, Mills was ready to make up for lost time. 

“Since being back in the building, I’ve definitely been involved in a lot of things. [It’s how] I made up for not having that opportunity freshman year,” Mills said. “I was on the girl’s bowling team, the marching band, and was on the Principal’s Panel.” 

Mills has bowled since her first year at the school; this year, she served as the team’s captain. As a senior, Mills had the chance to mentor the next generation of bowlers who will continue the team when she graduates. 

“Getting to see each of the girls on the team grow and get better at bowling was really cool,” Mills said. “It was a big step for me to take.”

As the school year wraps up, Mills prepares to take another big step. Lee University is in Tennessee, and Mills will move there to study. Going out of state for university may seem daunting, but Mills is ready to tackle the challenge. 

“College is a big deal. [I’m ready] to have that independence where I am living on my own and don’t have to call my mom for everything,” Mills laughed. “I’m ready to learn what I need to know to be a teacher.”

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPriority 4 - Authentic EngagementPortrait Attribute 1 - AdaptabilityPortrait Attribute 2 - CommunicationPortrait Attribute 3 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 4 - Critical ThinkingPortrait Attribute 5 - Global EmpathyPortrait Attribute 6 - Technology