CRESTVIEW — Shoal River Middle School has a new principal following the May 13 School Board meeting.

Former Shoal River principal, Gary Massey, was named as principal for Bruner Middle School in Fort Walton Beach on April 22, prompting a search for Shoal River’s next principal.

According to Okaloosa County School District’s Superintendent, Marcus Chambers, the board has a committee which helps with all selections of a principal or assistant principal.

“The committee is comprised of a current school principal, a SAC member and district officials,” said Chambers. “The committee asks candidates questions and then each member ranks the candidates. The committee comes to me with their recommendation then I take it to the board for final approval.”

The school board voted on Craig Miller as Shoal River’s new principal. Miller started his teaching career at Meigs Middle School. Prior to his appointment last week, he served as an assistant principal at Niceville High School since 2009.

Miller began his new role on May 14.

“I’ve been extremely busy with meeting the faculty and staff,” he said in an emailed response to questions. “I’ve also been getting to know the students while having conversations with them in the cafeteria and hallways.”

Miller is not new to the area. He was born at Eglin Air Force Base and grew up in Crestview. He stayed close to the area by attending the University of West Florida, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.

He is certified in educational leadership and as a school principal from the Florida Department of Education. He has worked in the Okaloosa school system for 15 years.

Miller said growing up in the area is the reason he wanted to apply for the job.

“I am grateful for the community that helped have an influence on me and who I’ve become,” Miller wrote. “I felt that I wanted to give back to the community and work with the staff at Shoal River.

“I am very appreciative of the trust the members of the school board and superintendent have placed in me to work at Shoal River.”

Miller hopes to use his new role to help both the school and the students that come through.

“It is important to maintain academic excellence and to increase parental and community partnerships to strengthen the students in the community. I believe that character development, commitment to excellence and caring for individual students is paramount in the development of young people.”