Zipporiah Mills

Zip (from the Bible, Zipporiah means "little bird") Mills returned to PS 261 after serving as assistant principal at PS 59 in Bedford Stuyvesant for two years. Ms. Mills was born and raised in East New York. She decided to become a teacher when she was in the eleventh grade at Thomas Jefferson High School and student-taught at a daycare facility. "As part of my classes I student-taught at a daycare center," Ms. Mills says, "and I fell in love with teaching." So Ms. Mills as been in education for three decades.

She went on to Hunter College, where she was part of a program called Training Tomorrow's Teachers. "We student-taught during the mornings at a public school in East Harlem," she says. "In the afternoons our teachers would come to us and teach us there."

Before first coming to our school in 2000 as an intervention teacher, Ms. Mills worked for 16 years at PS 273 in Brooklyn, teaching second, third, and sixth grades, and special education. She also started and ran a gospel choir at the school that competed with other schools. She was on the School-Leadership Team (SLT) and in many other ways was an active member of the school community, which was also true of her initial time at PS 261. "I like to watch children learn," she says simply. "I like to see the whole process, the energy of the kids, their innocence."

Ms. Mills was inspired to go into administration by the principal who first hired her when she was 23 years old. "She strongly believed that we should be there to take up the reins," Ms. Mills says. "If we believed in education, eventually we should participate in the decision-making about how children should be taught."

Ms. Mills has a Bachelor's with a double major in Education and Black and Puerto Rican Studies from Hunter College. She also has a Master's in Reading from Mercy College and an advanced certificate in Administration from Adelphi University. She lives in Queens Village and has three children, all in college. In addition to spending time with family, Ms. Mills enjoys reading and gardening.
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