Jean Ellen Miller was born in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1928. After her mother's death when she was a young child, Miller and her family moved in with her Scottish grandparents. She attended secondary school in Whitman and Uxbridge, Massachusetts, and entered Pembroke College in 1945 as a recipient of a local scholarship. Although she began college with a focus on science, she graduated with her A.B. in English. As a student, Miller was part of several sports teams and was a staff member on the Brun Mael yearbookinaddition to working in Andrews Dining Hall.
After graduating from Pembroke, Miller pursued a long career as a teacher, and later also an administrator, in private schools across the country. She was Head of St. Timothy's School in Maryland from 1964-1977 and spent time at other schools in Vermont, New York, California, and Florida. As a retiree, she lived in Vermont and been very active on the boards of the Maple Street School, the Dorset Theatre Festival, and the Vermont Humanities Council, among others. At the time of this interview, Miller was a member of the Pembroke Center Associates Council and a recipient of a Brown Bear Award.