Margaret Miller Bio
I was born in New York and migrated across the country growing up, as my father took a position at Northwestern University then finally at Stanford University when I was in high school. My love for other cultures began when I was a teenager - which is why I majored in Spanish and also earned a SpanishTeaching Credential at the University of the Pacific. I then went on to get a M.A. in Education and a Bilingual/ Cross Cultural Specialist Credential. I began teaching high school in San Francisco at a Catholic girls’ high school and have continued in Catholic education for the last 34 years. I have been passionate about photography and travel and learning about people around the world since as long as I can remember.
Working with teens in Catholic education is a gift. I have been at Saint Francis High School since 1982. I arrived as a full-time Spanish teacher. I’ve been the Dean of Students for about 16 years now and still teach one Spanish class. If you’re in trouble at school, you arrive late to class, you can’t figure out where to park, you want to discuss what you did to “earn” Saturday detention, or you’d like to hear about Emergency Planning, I’m the person you go to! I also create programs for parent education especially those focusing on parenting in this crazy digital world. To keep my sanity, I make jewelry, have become obsessed with taking and teaching Zumba classes, and spend my time traveling to new destinations around the world in the summer.
My passion for “all things Guarjila, Tamarindo, and El Salvador” began eight years ago when Sal Chávez, Director of Campus Ministry at Saint Francis, and I took our first Campus Ministry Immersion Program trip to El Salvador. Before that trip I had lead 12 student tours with an educational company to different countries in Europe, Costa Rica, and Cuba. The program to El Salvador was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I still look forward to each trip – with the same anticipation I had when I first set foot in Guarjila. I look forward to spending time with the Tamarindo community and John and feel blessed to have the opportunity to travel there each year. Guarjila is truly my second home. I am always anxious to catch up with the families in the Tamarindo, talk about the politics of Guarjila and El Salvador with John and Maria, find out the news from the women who are leaders in theTamarindo, and take advantage of a week of Bety’s good cooking (those pupusas are unreal!). Seeing El Salvador through the eyes of a new group of students each year is invigorating. Our students are transformed by their experience, and I look forward to finding new ways to have all of our students give back to the community in El Salvador.
I am also always in awe watching Tamarindos and John in a good game of hockey in the “Garden.” John has transformed so many young people through sports and all of the other programs that build community.
Each summer we become sports fans in the warm summer night. We surround the walls of the court, poke our fingers through the fencing, cheer on the players, and listening to the loud beat of Credence Cleerwater Revival.
I was honored to be selected to serve on the Tamarindo Foundation Board. I will do anything possible to support the work of the Foundation to benefit John’s work and look forward to contributing to future programs in a variety of ways.
I have a husband, Chris Bradford, who teaches English and Photography at Saint Francis School and two children. My daughter Jenny is 26 and works for Google in New York City. My son Josh is 22 and is will graduate from the University of South Carolina in May. He and I traveled to Guarjila in December of 2011. He has become passionate about the Tamarindos and will work with us on the planning of John’s August 2012 bike tour across the United States.