Nov. 8, 2019
National Heritage Academies Employee Inducted into US Olympic & Paralympic Hall of FameGRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Nov. 8, 2019 — Six-year-old Lisa Brown-Miller’s passion for hockey was sparked in a neighbor boy’s living room with goalie gear and a tennis ball. As the years passed, that tennis ball turned into a hockey puck, which turned into a skill set that led her to the Olympic hockey rink.
Brown-Miller found a passion for the sport when it was viewed as “not the norm” for girls at the time and recalls one of her elementary teachers playing a key role in her pursuit for the sport, as she came to watch games and asked questions.
Fast forward 25 years, Brown-Miller has a gold medal around her neck as she was one of the many stars on the hockey rink for Team USA’s win over Canada at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. It’s that inspiration and legacy that led this team to being inducted into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2019.
The entire team was honored at the awards dinner on Nov. 1 at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Brown-Miller was nominated by her team to deliver the acceptance speech at the awards dinner, in which she referenced Aristotle when he said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
“No one player is more important than the other. We’re family,” said Brown-Miller. “For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and strength of the wolf is the pack.”
In light of this recognition, Brown-Miller spent time reflecting back on the team she traveled with to the ’98 Olympics, “what’s unique about this team is that we were the first to play in the Olympics. We purely played for the love of the game, and this induction reminds me how special this group is and the impact of the achievement we attained.”
Currently, Brown-Miller works at National Heritage Academies (NHA) as the team coordinator for the School Quality team and was most recently appointed the women’s hockey coach at Aquinas College.
“The lessons I’ve learned from coaching and playing hockey easily translate into my role at NHA,” said Brown-Miller. “Our ’98 team understood that as good as everyone was individually, there was no one person that could carry the team, and the same applies to our team here at NHA. Everyone has something different to offer, which creates a complete puzzle.”
See video and photos from the awards dinner here.
National Heritage Academies is a network of 88 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through eighth-grade. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.