Miller & Lansing: Rangely educators to retire

Jeff Miller and Mary Lansing have been teachers or school administrators for a combined 61 years. Both will retire at the end of this school year. Lansing is the current principal at Parkview Elementary and acting assistant superintendent. The two were honored by students when asked to be the 2010 Homecoming parade marshals.

When the Rangely High School Class of 2011 graduates next month, two long-time Rangely educators will commence their retirement. Jeff Miller and Mary Lansing have been teachers or administrators for a combined 61 years.
Miller attended McPherson College in Kansas for his undergraduate work, received his master’s degree from the University of Colorado and his administrative certification from Denver University. He began his teaching career in Rocky Ford, Colo., and served as principal for four years. Fifteen years ago Miller moved to Rangely to teach biology. Since then he has taught “everything in science.”
“Getting students to learn more about the universe and learning more about themselves in the process, who they are and how they fit in,” has been Miller’s greatest joy in teaching.
Jeff’s wife, Paula, is also an educator, and will continue teaching in Rangely. The couple has three daughters and two grandchildren. All three are Rangely alumni, which provided their parents the opportunity to teach their own kids. Daughter Alison and her husband, Don Strain, live in Meeker with their children, Tanner and Camryn. Larin Miller lives in Colorado Springs and is the activities director for a retirement center. Rylee Miller is a graphic designer for the Professional Bull Riders’ Association and also lives in Colorado Springs.
Miller looks forward to spending time with his grandchildren, visiting family, traveling and doing as many outdoor activities as possible. He says he will miss the day to day interactions with students.
They will miss him, as well. Asked “who is the best teacher in the entire school?” one student replied, “Mr. Miller is the best. Educationally, he teaches us the most.”
Modest about his career achievements, Miller is quick to thank the community.
“Thanks to the parents and students and people in Rangely for allowing me to work with the young people. It has been a blessing.”
Mary Lansing began teaching at Rangely’s Parkview Elementary School in August 1981. Her focus was always on making her classroom the best possible learning environment for the students. She taught for 14 years  before taking on the role of elementary school principal in 1995.
Despite the challenges she has faced as principal, Lansing remained adamant about focusing on the students. In 2009, during a discussion about budget cuts, she said, “I would like to urge the board … to keep the budget cuts as far away as possible from the actual instruction in the classroom.”
That statement is indicative of Lansing’s dedication to the students. Evidence of the students’ dedication to her became obvious when they selected her as their 2010 homecoming parade marshal.
She has spent countless hours ensuring a safe and effective learning environment at Parkview Elementary. When the decision to move the school was finalized, she said, “I would like to think that Parkview, wherever it’s housed, is a philosophy and a practice, and it would continue wherever it is.”
Throughout her 30 years with the Rangely School District, Lansing has worked to develop that philosophy by an environment conducive to learning.

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