By Courtney Bolton
Oak Hall School has gone through many changes amid the pandemic, including welcoming many new teachers to campus. Danielle Mills has joined us as a middle school math teacher. Mills was born in Gainesville, Fla. and stayed throughout her teen years while attending Buchholz High School and eventually graduating from the University of Florida. Like many, Mills did not initially know what she wanted to study in college. “Like most college students I switched my major as I discovered where my passions and talents guided me,” she said. After graduation and before Mills began teaching, she worked as a tutor, an Administrative Assistant at the University Police Department and was a manager at a local restaurant.
Both of Mills parents also work at Oak Hall. Her mother is the director of the Lower School and her father is a fifth-grade teacher. Like most Eagles, Mills has been challenged with COVID-19, especially with it being her first-year teaching. It is a steep learning curve for new teachers especially in the difficult and stressful environment of the pandemic. While it is a big change, Mills says she has had a lot of fun getting to know her students, online and in person, along with colleagues.
Having graduated college not long ago, Mills believes it’s important for the senior class to be challenged and take risks. “I would encourage the senior students to embrace change, try to take interesting and different classes when possible, and avoid procrastination,” she said. “I would like to remind the students to have grace, be patient, and support one another through these challenging times,” she continued.
Outside of school, Mills enjoys being with her friends, reading, painting, and teaching self-defense. She teaches at the R.A.D. and radKIDS programs. On its website, R.A.D. defines the class as, “a self-defense program designed specifically for women. The R.A.D. approach to personal safety begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, and progresses to hands-on physical defense techniques.” Mills has been involved with this program for years and has been very involved in the community.