Miles, Tom (1933-2007)

By Rob Miles, from the Sprague All Class Memorial Site on Facebook:

…Tom Miles, Science Teacher at Sprague High School from when it first opened 1972 until his early retirement in 1989.

He was born in 1933 on Kauai, HI where he lived with his mother on a sugar plantation. He attended Punaho Academy in Honolulu from grades 1-12 and graduated Cum Laude with a 4.0. He went on to to receive his BS in Education and a MS in Earth Sciences from Oregon State University with Honors. He was the original head of the Math and Science department at Sprague and moved to Salem from Portland, Oregon where he’d been teaching Science at Adams High School. He had a passion for Earth Sciences and was an avid fan of Jacques Cousteau and Carl Sagan. He worked for many years in the 1960s and 1970s at OMSI with various youth outreach programs and Summer learning camps in Central Oregon at the John Day Fossil Beds. His children were lucky enough to be a part of that growing up and benefited from the deep immersion in science at home and in school. At one point he had an opportunity to work with Jacques Cousteau on a research project but chose to continue as a teacher because he felt he could make a bigger difference helping young people learn and appreciate the wonders of the Universe and the Science behind it. He passed away on October 17, 2007 surrounded by family at Salem Memorial Hospital due to complications from a long struggle with diabetes. While the illness slowed him down, it never defeated his happy outlook on life and his wonder of the natural world. He was teaching science to the residents and family members in his Adult Foster Home in South Salem right up to the end.