When he heads to college this fall, a Whiteland Community High School graduate will be creating a new family tradition.
Chris Miller’s parents, Wilma Linhart and Kevin Miller, are both from an Amish community in Arthur, Illinois. They were both educated only to eighth grade, which limited opportunities when they were young.
“What’s driven me is they were both raised Amish and stopped after eighth grade,” he said. “They didn’t have the chance to finish.”
In time, they both were able to finish their high school diplomas, and Linhart has since earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, a field she works in now.
Their example and encouragement has been part of what has led Miller to be such a high achiever, earning the title of salutatorian of his class.
He also received the maximum merit scholarship at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, which exceeds $18,000 per year.
For Miller, his passion for learning and a competition with his friends is what landed him in the No. 2 spot in his class, he said.
He admits he has a competitive streak and always wanted to do well.
“We always have this competition going, but it’s not the main thing,” he said.
Miller has never gotten a grade as low as a B, and math is his favorite subject.
In fact, he’s already taken two years of calculus, which will help him when he starts college this fall studying mechanical engineering at Rose-Hulman.
An academic star and varsity baseball player, Miller always worked hard, getting much of his schoolwork done at school.
He averaged about a half hour of homework a night, he said. Sometimes, he’d have to spend hours to get everything finished.
“I did miss a little sleep when I’ve been up late studying, but I didn’t worry about it that much,” he said.
In addition to baseball, he was active in show choir, the math academic team, National Honor Society, Scrabble Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
His faith has played an important role in his success as well, helping him through tough times, such as when his grandfather died, and also has inspired him to teach others.
This year, he led lessons for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which met before school started on Friday mornings.
As he looks ahead to college, he’s eager for a new challenge, but also hopes that he likes engineering and that he’ll be able to do well in class, he said.
Name: Chris Miller
Parents: Wilma and Chris Linhart and Kevin and Brianne Miller
College plans: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, studying mechanical engineering
Career goals: engineering field