NEWTON — Chad Miller calls himself the black sheep of the family.
The son of retired educators and the brother of a middle school teacher, Miller earned an undergraduate degree in history education — and substitute taught for a semester before entering law school.
After several years as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, Miller was appointed Jasper County State's Attorney in February 2015 to replace Kevin Parker, who was appointed to a seat on the Fourth Judicial Circuit bench as an associate judge. Miller recently announced he would seek a full term.
"I have enjoyed serving the people of Jasper County, which continues to always be an honor and a privilege," Miller said. "I have always enjoyed doing criminal law, but I didn't care for the defense side."
Miller said the last year as a prosecutor has only enhanced his desire to stay on the state side.
"I am experienced and ready to do the job," he said. "I am proud of the work I have done now and look forward to the future."
Miller, who turns 32 on March 12, grew up in Richland County and graduated from East Richland High School before moving onto Olney Central College, where he was valedictorian of his graduating class. He then graduated summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in December 2005 with a degree in history education.
Miller spent a semester substitute teaching before entering the SIU School of Law in the fall of 2006. He graduated in the top 20 percent of his class from law school in 2009, serving as an assistant state's attorney in Hamilton County while still a law student.
His first job after law school was as an assistant state's attorney in Coles County. He has also been employed by the Illinois State's Attorney's Appellate Prosecutor's Office, as well in private practice for a Mattoon law firm focusing primarily on criminal defense. He was appointed to his current post last Feb. 26 in a county where he has many relatives.
Miller has already gotten active in the Newton community as a member of the Newton Rotary Club and the Sons of the American Legion Squad No. 20. He has also been active in local autism awareness programs, as well as supportive of St. Thomas Catholic Church and school.
Miller is married to the former Jaclyn Dust of Effingham. They are the parents of two children, Lincoln and Josephine.
Bill Grimes may be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter @EDNBGrimes.