The KO community bids farewell to science teacher Clay Miles as he heads off to Maine to work for Camp Winona as Assistant Director and Head of Leadership Development. Throughout his 31 years at KO, Mr. Miles has certainly touched the lives of many students on campus with his guidance, advice, and compassion.
Right out of college, Mr. Miles worked at the Eaglebrook School In Deerfield, Mass., as a teaching intern and counselor. “I originally wanted to become a counselor, but when I learned more about what it entailed, I started to lean more towards teaching,” Mr. Miles said. “Being an educator and advisor has given me so much more freedom to interact with kids in an organic way, and I’m so happy that I made the decision to become a teacher.”
Over the years, Mr. Miles has taken on a plethora of roles here on campus. He has been an advisor and a form dean for more than 20 years, offering guidance and support to a vast number of students, specifically those in the Middle School. He has also had a meaningful impact on KO’s athletic programs through coaching Middle School lacrosse and swimming, as well as through serving as a head coach for the boys varsity swimming and diving team. Although he has taken on a variety of positions at KO, Mr. Miles says that his favorite role was as an advisor.
Mr. Miles is also an avid photographer, capturing picture-perfect moments on campus during games, tournaments, dances, and other school events; he even runs his own studio outside of school. “After I left Eaglebrook, I went to a school of photography, which was a year and a half program that taught me lots about commercial photography and freelance shooting,” Mr. Miles said. “I think my love of photography really started when I was 12, when I received my first camera for my birthday. From then on, it was all history.”
Mr. Miles will be leaving KO to take on a full-time position at Camp Winona, an all-boys summer camp located in beautiful western Maine. Mr. Miles’s first encounter with Camp Winona was as a camper when he was six years old. “My first year with Winona was unbelievable,” Mr. Miles said, “I stayed with the program up until I was a CIT and later went on to work there during the summers for over 35 years.” KO also has an extensive history with Camp Winona, as many teachers, students, and faculty have attended or worked at the camp. In fact, it was through Camp Winona that Mr. Miles first found out about a teaching position at KO.
At Camp Winona, Mr. Miles will be working full-time as Assistant Director and Head of Leadership Development. “I’ll be over there developing leadership programs for the young kids and helping them move on with a better vision of what they will do. ” Mr. Miles said. “We live in an age where male toxicity is a bit of an epidemic, so it’s my job to make sure Winona moves to the path of helping good boys turn into good men. During the off-season, I’ll be staying in Connecticut working remotely to help out with equity and alumni work.”
Above all else, Mr. Miles says he will miss the KO community when he leaves. “I’ll definitely miss all the interactions I had with the students on a daily basis,” he said, “and I’ll definitely miss coaching and miss my interactions with my Middle School faculty who are honestly just so amazing and dedicated. Bottom line, teaching has been part of my life for over 31 years. If I weren’t moving on to do something that I loved, I’d be an absolute wreck.”
While we are certainly sad that Mr. Miles is leaving, we are thrilled that he will continue to do work that he is passionate about. We wish him nothing but the best as he begins his new journey!