The Ellis Academy

I feel so blessed that I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Daniel Miles, Vice President of The Ellis Academy.  The Ellis Academy is a private school operated by Orthodox Christians, located in picturesque Toney, Alabama.  It serves students PreK-12, and is a wonderful and academically challenging place to learn.  You can find out more information about this amazing school here

Hello my Name is: Daniel K. Miles, Ph.D.

My patron saint is: Daniel the Prophet

As a child, my favorite children’s book was: I have two: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and Daniel and The Lion’s Den published by Arch Books.


My job is: I am the Vice President and Director of the Boys Program at The Ellis Academy, a new private school located in Toney, Alabama. In addition to my administrative responsibilities I teach English, Classical Languages, History, Philosophy and Religion. I also do community outreach for the school and help with our budding physical fitness program.


What I love about my job: I love encouraging young people to realize their dreams and seeing the joy in their faces when they figure out how to do something that they previously thought they couldn’t. Seeing a child cry with joy when they are able to read independently for the first time is indescribable!


What you should know about The Ellis Academy: The Ellis Academy is based on an academic program that comprises 5 core components: Humanities; Math, Science and Technology; Arts; Languages; and Health, Sports and Physical Fitness. We teach through “hands on” methods of project based learning which include such programs as culinary arts, fiber and fabric arts, travel, and our school’s original humanities curriculum “Our Neighbors Near and Far”. Students are placed in each academic course based on their current level of strength, not their age. Therefore, as students master a particular level, they are advanced to the next level, regardless of the time of year or their age. Similarly, when students need more time, we work with them until they master the material and can move forward. This creates an environment in which students do not slip through the cracks or fall behind and it also keeps more advanced students from becoming bored in the classroom.
We do all of this in an environment where students are required to be kind to one another, respect one another and learn how to appreciate one another’s uniqueness. We teach manners and etiquette as a basic part of our program. Readings from the New Testament and prayers at the beginning of the day and at mealtimes are a part of the daily schedule at The Ellis Academy. As Orthodox Christians we seek to make every school-related decision through the lens of our faith. The school, however, has students from many different backgrounds and is non-sectarian. We view The Ellis Academy as a ministry where we make use of our own gifts, talents and blessings in service to Christ and the broader world. We seek to bear witness to Christ through the way we educate and relate with students, their families and our local community. The Ellis Academy is a beautiful place, with beautiful people, in a beautiful part of the world and I am deeply honored and humbled to be involved in the launching of such a unique endeavor.


If I could tell our youth one thing it would be: Find something that you love to do. Do it well. Never compare yourself to anyone else. Be confident in who you are while maintaining humility. Do not let others discourage you from realizing your dreams. When you are doing something you truly love, you will never fail.

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