Local Schools

GHS’s Rocket Theatre is Flourishing Under Leadership of Xenia Miles

Coming off a successful season for the Rocket Theatre at Gardendale High School, and the recent sold out show for Beauty and the Beast, Xenia Miles has the theater department moving in a great direction.

Tell us a little about you and how you decided to become a teacher?

I am the theater director and teacher at Gardendale High School. Next year will be my 4th year teaching.

I have always known teaching would be somewhere in my life. My grandmother is a retired English teacher; I adore and admire her. My mom taught for a little while too, after years of being a journalist. When I decided to pursue teaching, it felt natural. I have always loved sharing all of my “useless” knowledge and quirky factoids.

What is your favorite part of being a teacher?

I love that “light bulb” moment students have when they are learning or experiencing something new. Especially with theater, whenever I introduce a new play or section to a group of students and their reactions always make me smile.

Are there special moments where you say to yourself “this is why I teach?”

I have that moment every time we have a successful show or when a student is inspired to join the theater program. I always feel like something I’ve said or done made an impact or a difference.

What’s the one thing you would like people to know about teachers?

Teachers work hard from 8am to 3pm from August through May. Teachers work after hours, before hours, and even during the summer. We work hard to make sure that our students have what they need so that they can become amazing members of society.

If you had one wish for something special for your classroom, what would it be?

My classroom isn’t just my room with a desk and a whiteboard, but it also includes the theater. One of the theater classes I teach is a tech class which is heavily hands-on. Students learn to apply makeup, create costumes, and build sets. We struggle with having basic supplies to work with like paint brushes, power tools, and other creative supplies. The theater would love to have more supplies to be more creative with.