Feb 4 1931 - Dec 15, 2015
Miles Myers, an author, educator, advocate for public education, and activist on behalf of teachers died on December 15, 2015, from complications related to heart disease. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Celeste, his three children Royce, Brant and Roz, three sisters Jean McClard, Joan Hope (Cecil) and Patty Gatlin (Dennis), six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is preceded in death by his sister, Roxye Jelden. He was 84.
Miles was born in 1931 in Newton Kansas. In the mid 1940's his family moved to Pomona, California, and he graduated from Pomona High in 1949.
Miles loved to travel. After graduating high school, he drove across the country with his friend Melvin Hogsett to Washington DC. Once there he met his then Senator, Richard Nixon. While serving in Germany during the Korean War, he took every opportunity to travel throughout Europe and beyond. He kept his enthusiasm for travel even after taking his family to Lake Tahoe, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands and Europe.
Miles was a superlative writer. He was editor of his high school newspaper and published stories of his travels in the Pomona Progress Bulletin. Since then he has written extensively and is the author of several books including "Changing Our Minds."
Over six decades, Miles devoted his career to improving public education and educational standards. He earned a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition and Writing Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also obtained two Master's and a Bachelor's degree. He taught high school English in the Oakland Public Schools and later co-founded the Bay Area Writing Project (BAWP), which became the basis for a national literacy-based curriculum model. He was deeply committed to the organizations inspired by BAWP, including the California Writing Project and National Writing Project. He served as the Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of English for seven years. Most recently he was chairman of the Curriculum Study Commission of Northern California and as a consultant with the Institute for Research on Teaching and Learning.
Miles was an advocate for workers' rights. He worked for collective bargaining for teachers, and would support other groups, from Caesar Chavez's farmworkers to University of California faculty. He held leadership positions at all levels of teacher unions, and served as president of the California Federation of Teachers.
The family will host a memorial in Oakland in early January.
The thing Miles loved most was browsing for books at a book store or the library. According to his wife, he purchased tens of thousands of books, and kept every single one. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to honor Miles by buying a book, reading it, and then honor his wife by donating it to a library.