July 04, 2012 Edition

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Tonjia Miles (center), new administrator at The Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge, visits with Judy Clark (left), a TCS Board member, and Mona Kay Beller, a direct care worker at the shelter, during a Business After Hours event at the shelter on Thursday. The event also served a welcome reception for Miles.
TD Photo ~ Shantelle Prater

Miles enjoying role
as shelter administrator

Gretchen Hunt

Tonjia Miles has been the administrator at The Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge since June 4.

"I enjoy my job very much," she said. "It is my desire for us to maintain The Children's Shelter and to see it expand in the future."

A welcome reception was held Thursday in conjunction with a Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event at the shelter.

Judy Turnbull, president of the shelter's board, said they are very happy to have Miles on board at the shelter.

"She is going to be great," Turnbull said. "The staff members respect her very much and the children love her."

Miles has lived in Walnut Ridge since 1977. She most recently spent 16 years at Ridgefield Christian School as a sixth-grade teacher.

She studied for two years at Southern Baptist (now Williams Baptist College) and earned her bachelor's degree in education from Arkansas State University.

Her husband, Paul, is a pastor at Campbell Station Baptist Church near Tuckerman.

Turnbull said Miles is the kind of person you feel like you have known forever after just spending a short time with her. She said Miles can handle the administrative duties, as well as be the community's connection to the shelter.

"She wanted to be the face and the voice of the shelter," she said. "She is striving to do that."

Miles said part of that responsibility is sharing information with those outside of Lawrence County, as well.

"Our community does a wonderful job of supporting the shelter," she said. "One of my goals is to get into other counties and let them know we serve their children, as well."

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