Miller Middle School

Miller Middle School
Joaquin Miller Middle School
"Pursuing Excellence in a Caring Environment."
6151 Rainbow Drive
San Jose, California, Santa Clara County, 95129
 United States
Coordinates 37°18′07″N 122°00′43″W / 37.302°N 122.012°W / 37.302; -122.012Coordinates: 37°18′07″N 122°00′43″W / 37.302°N 122.012°W / 37.302; -122.012
Founded 1959
School district Cupertino Union
Principal Sal Gumina
Vice principal Amy Steele
Grades 6–8
Mascot Mustangs
Newspaper The Miller Mustang
Yearbook The Golden Hoofprint
Information 408-252-3755

Joaquin Miller Middle School, commonly referred to as Miller Middle School, is a co-educational, public middle school which teaches grades 6-8 in the West San Jose area of San Jose, California, USA near Cupertino. Miller Middle School is part of the Cupertino Union School District. Its official mascot is the Mustang. It was named after 19th century poet Joaquin Miller.

Most students come from Murdock-Portal, Blue Hills, John Muir, Meyerholz, Dilworth, Eaton, De Vargas, Faria and McAuliffe elementary schools. Most graduates of Miller Middle School go on to attend Lynbrook High School, in the Fremont Union High School District, the neighboring secondary school.

Miller is a California Distinguished School.



Miller was named after the 19th Century poet Joaquin Miller. Miller started in 1959 with a couple classrooms, quad, and library with orchards in the background. The 2009-2010 school year marked Miller's 50th anniversary. Joaquin Miller also has a road named after him.

For more info: Miller Calendar

The School Itself


Miller's Electives include:

  • Exploratory Wheel (art, cooking, woodshop, drama, and music)
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Yearbook
  • Journalism
  • Communication Arts (morning announcements)
  • Concert band (Beginning, Mustang/Intermediate, Advanced)
  • Choir (Beginning, Advanced)
  • Woodshop
  • Drafting
  • Foods and Nutrition
  • Beginning Sewing and Fashion Design
  • Survival Skills
  • Leadership
  • Study Skills
  • French 1A & 1B, Japanese 1A & 1B, Spanish 1A & 1B
  • Chinese 2: Literacy
  • Mathematics Enrichment
  • Teacher Aide (eighth grade only)
  • Office Aide (eighth grade only)

Social Life

Miller Idol

Miller Idol is one of the biggest events held in Miller. It is a singing competition held by the Student Government of Miller. It consists of four judges, representing the four current judges of American Idol. There are two rounds to this competition. The first round, or audition round, consists of applicants who audition, then are hand-picked by the judges to go to the final round. In the final round, the students vote to determine the winner. The winner of miller idol for 2010-2011 was Jennifer Lee.

WEB and Corrals

WEB is a program at Miller that stands for “Where Everyone Belongs." WEB leaders are eighth grade students who help sixth grade students transition from elementary school to middle school. WEB leaders are nominated by teachers at the end of their seventh grade year. Right before the beginning of the school year, WEB groups get together and the WEB leaders show the sixth graders the school and play a few games. The school additionally hosts a "W.E.B. carnival" for sixth graders mid-year and two "Mustang Corrals" each year, in which the entire student body can participate in various games and activities. Corrals include dancing, dunk tank, mountain climbing, food, jump house, and more. The school began to host Mustang corrals again in the 2004-2005 school year. The 6th graders can also enjoy the W.E.B. Movies.

Student Council

The Student Council includes the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, 2 Social Chairs, and the Sergeant-at-arms, with representatives from each grade and a representative from each classroom. Student Council elections take place every September. In total, there are 7 officers, 3 representatives, and 2 green officers. The green officers are nominated by the President and Vice President of the Student Council. The 3 representatives represent each grade level to the School Site Council.

Washington, D.C.

Each year, eighth graders travel to Washington, D.C. in the spring break. Miller 8th graders have attended this trip each year for over 30 years.

Choir and Band

Miller students have a passion for excellent music. There are three Beginning Bands, three Mustang (intermediate) Bands, one Advanced Band, one Beginning Choir, and one Advanced Choir. Choir, Advanced Choir, Mustang Band, and Advanced Band have trips not only to other schools to compete or perform, but also around the state, and sometimes even the country. In April 2008, the Advanced Choir traveled to Orlando, Florida. Both Choirs perform at yearly festivals and win many awards. The Mustang Band has performed in the past at Homestead High School, Saratoga High School, American High School in Fremont, and traveled to Six Flags in Vallejo. The Advanced Band also travels to and performs at Disneyland and California Adventure, and has performed at Santa Monica College, Fullerton College, Cal State Fresno, Clovis North Educational Center, Biola University, and has recorded a studio soundtrack session backstage at Disneyland every year during the annual Disneyland trip.

Exchange Students

Every year, students from Toyokawa, Japan come to visit Miller for two days. The visit is usually in September. Miller students, as well as students from other Cupertino Union School District schools, visit Toyokawa, Japan in the summer of every year.


Every morning, Miller's Communication Arts class records and broadcasts the daily announcements. Students announce school news, including sports, clubs, contests, etc. The Principal or Assistant Principal may also make an announcement. Special features include Words of Wisdom and "public service announcements" which are usually funny videos concerning rules or other Miller issues of concern made by the Communication Arts class.


Enrollment at Miller Middle School in 2010-2011 is approximately 1,300 students. The majority of Miller's student body is Asian-American, with over 76.9% being Asian and 19.6% being white. 5% of the school is in the Special Education program. The school investment for each student is $6,907 while the state average is $4,743.[1]



Miller has a strong math department.[citation needed] Tests and homework are frequent.[citation needed] The school hosts the AMC and had 9 AIME qualifiers and had no USAMO qualifiers in 2011. It also won 5th place at the Northern California MathCounts Competition [2]and has gotten 1st place 11 times at SCVMA for the past 25 years.

Language Arts

Miller Language Arts classes use traditional methods of teaching as well as modern technology. The EETT program (enhancing education through technology) allowed every Language Arts classroom to have a full set of MacBooks.[citation needed]


Miller’s science classes engage students in labs and hands on experiments. The curriculum for sixth grade is earth science, life science for 7th, and physical science for 8th.[citation needed]

Social Studies

Miller Middle School has a Social Studies program designed to prepare students for today's global world. It teaches different cultures, histories, and geographies. The classes are filled with simulations, activities, and educational curriculum related movies.[citation needed] 6th grade learns about Ancient History, 7th grade learns about Medieval History, and 8th grade learns about the US (add-on from 5th grade).[citation needed]

Athletics and Extracurriculars

Sports and Teams

There are softball, volleyball, soccer, and basketball teams which students can try out for. Track and field, wrestling, and cross-country running are teams that any student may participate in with no tryouts or cuts. Miller has had notable volleyball and basketball teams. From the 2005-2007 school year, the boys 7th and 8th grade volleyball teams won back-to-back championships.[citation needed] The girls basketball in the same years won back-to-back undefeated championships as well.[citation needed] In the 2009-2010 year, the girls 8th grade basketball team won the league championships.[citation needed] In the 2009-2010 year, the 7th grade boys track and field team placed first for both the league championships and sectionals. From 2010-2011, the C-Girls volleyball team won the league championships. In the winter of 2011, the 6/7 grade boy's soccer team took first place in the league.

Miller Clubs/Groups

Miller has many clubs and groups.

  • Jazz choir
  • Color guard (none 2009-10 year)
  • Jazz Band
  • Miller Musical once a year in November
  • Chess
  • Card Club
  • Christian Club (every Thursday)
  • Lego Robotics
  • Builders' Club
  • Red Cross Club
  • Future Business Leaders of America
  • Mathletes (Math olympiad team, Math Counts team, etc.)
  • W.E.B. (Where Everyone Belongs/Welcome Everybody: sixth grade orientation club
  • Speech and Debate
  • Science Fair
  • Student Council
  • Miller Math Marathon (annually)
  • Fish Club
  • After School Math
  • Miller Power Hour (after school quiet study time)

School publications include:


Edyth May Sliffe Award

Two Miller Middle School math teachers have received the prestigious Edyth May Sliffe Award, given annually to approximately fifty math teachers nationally: Ingrid Lu (2001) and Pallavi Rajendra Shah (2002). Shah has met President George W. Bush with her team in Washington D.C..[4]

Speech and Debate

In the school year of 2010-2011, the Miller Middle School Program sent a team of debaters to the national competition in Claremont McKenna College. The team ranked in the top fifty schools in the nation and consisted of Alvin Fan (7th), Dhruv Walia (8th), and a member from Sunnyvale Middle School Austin Liang (8th).

California Distinguished School Award

In the 2008–2009 school year, Miller Middle School was awarded the California Distinguished School Award. This is the 4th time Miller has received this award.[citation needed]

API Scores

The 2007–2008, 2008-2009 API scores allowed Miller to rank 1st in the Santa Clara County, and 2nd in the state of California.[citation needed]


The Miller Bands and Choirs go to CMEA festivals every year to receive ratings from three judges. In 2010-2011, the Mustang and the Advanced Bands earned Unanimous Superior ratings. In 2009-2010, the Jazz Band, Mustang Band, and Advanced Bands all earned Unanimous Superior for their CMEA Band Festival performances. In 2008–2009, the combined Mustang Band earned Excellent, while Advanced Band earned Unanimous Superior. In 2007–2008, the Mustang Bands earned Superior and Unanimous Superior, and Advanced Band earned Unanimous Superior.

Miller's Choirs have earned Unanimous Superior ratings at CMEA Festivals every year since 2004. Also, Advanced Choir will be performing at the annual state convention in Sacramento. This is a very high honor, as this shows the choir program has a state-wide reputation.

Miller Middle School's Band Department hosts and runs a CMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival held in March at San Jose State University every year. Many music students from all over the Bay area, including many Miller students, perform in the festival. Some students who earn a Superior rating at the local CMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival may go on to perform in the statewide Solo and Ensemble Festival, held in Sacramento.


For the 2008–09 school year, Miller ranked among the top 10 schools for WordMasters. For the 2009-10 WordMasters challenge, Miller ranked top!

Spelling Bee

Ramya A., from Miller, went to Washington D.C. to perform in the National Scripps Spelling Bee and earned 5th place. She was sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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