Amanda Miller is our Director of Mental Health and Wellness at Hebron Academy. Amanda was raised in Maine before she pursued an education in Public Policy at Rice University in Houston, TX. During her undergraduate years, she focused on international peace and conflict studies and traveled extensively in the Middle East. From there, she worked at Seeds of Peace, a co-existence summer camp for teens from Israel, Palestine, and other international conflict zones. She also led focus groups for immigrants and refugees post 911 and became a Certified Community Mediator. She then attended graduate school at Smith College School of Social Work, an anti-racism institution in Northampton, MA. Her graduate studies included an internship at the University of New Mexico Children’s Psychiatric Hospital, where she met her husband Gabriel Miller, who now directs the Arts Program at Hebron Academy. Amanda also worked at the Multi-cultural Counseling Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder where she completed an anti-racism project to eliminate racial profiling within the campus police force. She and Gabe later moved to Portland, Oregon where she obtained her License in Clinical Social Work and led workshops on white privilege and racial identity development while working at a youth Day Treatment program. Amanda returned to her home state to serve in the National Health Service Corps while working within the Lakes Region public schools and supervising school-based and primary health clinicians at Tri-County Mental Health Services in Bridgton, Maine. Amanda first entered the private boarding school world as a dorm parent at Bridgton Academy, where she raised her two sons Finn and August for 6 years. She became the School Counselor, chaired the Diversity Team, and supported the Focused Academic Coaching program.
Amanda has extensive experience as an individual and family therapist and group facilitator is dedicated to anti-racism work and is a strong ally to the LGBTQ+ community. She focuses on a holistic approach to wellness including mindfulness-based stress management and integrative mental health. Her most fulfilling career experience has been to direct the Mental Health and Wellness Program at Hebron Academy over the past three years. This robust student support program has been manifested from the vision of Dan and Courtney Marchetti, Head of School, and Director of Student Success. This program now has a multidisciplinary team that includes School Counseling (welcoming walk-ins and 24/7 access for urgent needs), a Wellness Coordinator and Health Educator, a School-based therapist and DBT skills group facilitator, a contracted adolescent psychiatrist, and a partner Speech-Language Pathologist who specializes in supporting twice-exceptional students and boosting executive functioning skills in both individual and group settings. Amanda enjoys creating neuroscience-backed wellness workshops on nutrition, sleep, substance use prevention, technology boundaries, and mindfulness practices. She has also enjoyed coordinating school workshops on healthy relationships, and collaborating with Bates College to lead positive body image campaigns. She coordinates weekly social-emotional learning blocks during advisory, contributes to the residential LIFE curriculum in the dorms, supports faculty wellness initiatives, and co-leads the Respect Team: a Social Justice Collaborative. She has been a guest presenter in health classes where she has instructed meditation, breath, and bodywork to manage anxiety, and led a field trip to the community garden where students engaged in a wellness service project: “Nutrition from the Ground Up”--building living soil to grow healthy food.
Her favorite hobbies include gardening, cooking with organic fresh local produce, leather crafting, hiking, canoeing, and camping with her family. She is passionate about nurturing women’s empowerment and mind-body-spirit wellness practices such as yoga, singing, dancing, creating herbal tea blends that promote relaxation, and DIY natural body and home-care products with aromatherapeutic essential oils. She looks forward to sharing her passions by leading a therapeutic arts and wellness retreat for students next year.