Mayor McDermott Appoints Scott Miller as Chief of Staff

CATEGORY: Mayor's Office, News

Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. has announced that current Superintendent of the School City of Hammond, Scott Miller, will become his next Chief of Staff. “Scott is a perfect fit for my administration, and I’m excited to have him as part of our team. He’s operated as an executive with the School City and he brings that experience with him to the city. He wanted a change of scenery and I’m happy he put his name in the hat to be considered. The School City’s loss is the City of Hammond’s gain,” Mayor McDermott stated.

Mayor McDermott and the city has been out a chief of staff for nearly a month since the departure of long time Chief of Staff Phil Taillon who left the city to become the Chief Executive Officer of the South Shore Convention and Visitor’s Authority in late May. “I was really happy for Phil to be able to move onto such an important role in Northwest Indiana; it’s a compliment to what he did for me and for our city,” said the mayor. The city received many applications for the spot before choosing Miller. “We had a lot of really good, qualified people apply. It was a tough decision, but I’m very happy with the choice of Scott for this job,” Mayor McDermott said.

Superintendent Miller has been the School City of Hammond’s Superintendent for 5 years. During that time, he oversaw the construction of the state-of-the-art new Hammond Central High School and the consolidation of students into two high schools from four. “He made the tough decisions. These were decisions that weren’t popular but that had been needed for decades [closing of high schools]. It’s that kind of tough decision making that will make him a great chief of staff,” said the mayor.

Mr. Miller has recently endured much of the criticism over the announcement of the closure of several elementary schools and the potential layoffs of teachers and other personnel after the most recent referendum failed to pass. “I’ve said it publicly and I will say it again—the referendum needed to be supported and the voters didn’t support it. If you want to keep your schools running in Indiana, you must pass funding referendums. That’s how the supermajority has the process set up. When you don’t, bad things happen like laying off teachers and closing schools. That’s not Scott’s fault, it’s the fault of those that didn’t vote or didn’t support the referendum. I’m sure this unfair criticism is part of the reason Scott is becoming Chief of Staff and I’m happy he’s coming over,” said the mayor.

“My family and I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity to serve the City of Hammond as the Mayor’s next Chief of Staff. I’m incredibly grateful to Mayor McDermott for this opportunity; I can’t wait to begin working with the team. Having worked in Hammond since 1997, I’ve grown to love this city and its people and am delighted that I can continue to make a difference in Hammond’s future. I would like to thank the Board of School Trustees for the opportunity to lead the school system for the past 5 years and I will always be grateful for the friendships I developed during my tenure as superintendent. It is time for a new person to assume the mantel of leadership at SCH and I will do everything in my power to help support their successful transition; but my focus will now shift to serving and supporting the City of Hammond,” stated Mr. Miller.

Scott and his wife Tracey are Hammond residents and both lifetime residents of Lake County. They have been married for 14 years and have 5 amazing children. Scott earned his undergraduate degree in computer information systems from Indiana University, a master’s degree in educational administration from Purdue University, and a post-graduate degree in educational leadership from Indiana State University. Scott has worked 26 years in public education, 23 of which were for the School City of Hammond. He has been in leadership roles for the past 10 years.

Mr. Miller will begin duties at the city as Chief of Staff in July although a specific date has not been set so that he can wrap up his duties and responsibilities at the School City.