In 2016, the Mariemont City School District launched the Marie Huenefeld Friend of the School award to recognize individuals in the community who make significant contributions to the school district with their time, service and/or expertise to create a better experience for students.
At the May Board of Education meeting, Nancy Eigel-Miller was officially recognized as the 2021 recipient of the Marie Huenefeld Friend of the School award.
“We have a tremendous community of supporters at Mariemont City Schools” said district superintendent Steven Estepp. “This award was established to honor those community members who go above and beyond for our schools and our students. While there are many people who are deserving of this recognition, Nancy Eigel-Miller is the perfect recipient as someone who has dedicated so much of their time, energy and talent for the betterment of our students and staff. I am grateful to have Marie Huenefeld, the inaugural winner of this award and its namesake, with me tonight as I present Nancy with the 2021 Friend of the School award.”
Nancy Eigel-Miller is the founder and executive director of the 1N5 Organization, which works to prevent suicide by erasing the stigma of mental illness and promoting optimal mental wellness. Nancy founded the James W. Miller Memorial Fund in 2010 after losing her husband, Jim, to suicide in 2008. She spent her career in the marketing and market research arena but felt compelled to foster education about mental health crisis among our youth population. Her mission is to normalize conversation about mental illness, especially among the area’s youth.
Additionally, she champions the annual Warrior Run Race for Life, an event that beings together people from all over Cincinnati to raise funds and awareness for mental health programming.
As a district community member residing in Mariemont, Nancy partnered with Mariemont City Schools to help grow the Warrior Run and provide funding for our schools and mental health programming. The partnership has resulted in donations of approximately $100,000 over the past seven years as well as guidance that has led to other community partnerships such as MindPeace and Child Focus, Inc. Traditional MCSD mental health programs such as the signs of suicide program, sources of strength peer-to-peer program, mindfulness practice, GoNoodle, research study opportunities and many guest speakers that have been presented to students and families have all been supported by 1N5 and the funds raised through the Warrior Run.
As any school district can attest to, mental health needs of our students have increased significantly over the past 10 years and the district was searching for a new approach to meet these needs. Nancy Eigel-Miller has been a guiding force for this work and her dedication and partnership with the Mariemont City School District has made, and is continuing to make, a lasting different in the lives of our students, staff and parents.
This award was created in honor and recognition of a retired Board of Education member, Marie Huenefeld, who received the inaugural Friend of the School award in 2016. Huenefeld was first elected to the board in November of 1987 and served through 2015. Other recipients of the Friend of the School award include Rusty Wilson (2016), Don Gurney (2017), Chandra Buswell (2018) and Jack Smith (2019).