NLV Mayor John Lee Declares June 1 Lorena Searles Day in Honor of Community Advocate
Lorena “Renee” Searles is a longtime North Las Vegas resident and participant in the local education community. On July 7, 2016, North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee proclaimed that June 1 would be recognized by the city as Lorena Searles Day.
Clark County school officials attended the event that was commemorated with the presentation of a plaque documenting Searles’ achievements . Searles, 86, was flattered to receive the honor, and used the occasion to reflect on how much her city has changed over the past 62 years.
Resident of NLV Since the Days of President Eisenhower
Lorena Searles moved to Clark County in 1952. Two years later, she and her husband bought a house in North Las Vegas. They continue to live in that home to this day.
Times were different when Searles first began to call North Las Vegas home.
“It’s completely changed,” Searles told the Review Journal. “Since living here, I’ve seen it grow from a small town to a big city. […]My kids had so much fun growing up here. There used to be Thursday night dances, and they built a swimming pool for the kids. It was great.”
After moving to North Las Vegas, Searles began to take an active role in her children’s education. She would regularly volunteer at school carnivals and chaperone school dances. She also dedicated time to helping St. Christopher Church install pews just after its construction.
By 1957, Searles was serving as PTA president for Jefferson Elementary School. She became a lifetime member of the organization at the PTA’s state convention the following year,.
A Family of Educators and Advocates
To this day, Searles spends much of her free time giving back to the Clark County school community.
“I enjoy visiting the Sandy Searles Miller Academy for International Studies, which was named after my daughter. The kids call me Grandma Miller. We usually go once a week if Sandy isn’t doing a lot of things. Sometimes, I go by myself. I enjoy reading to the kids and meeting with teachers. The children are all so positive and very polite and well-mannered.”
Sandy Searles Miller, Lorena’s Daughter, served as First Lady of Nevada.Her husband Bob Miller held the office from 1989 to 1999, the longest of any Nevada Governor. Their son, Ross Miller, went on to serve two terms as Nevada Secretary of State until 2015.
Sandy Miller was an educator with a degree in special education. The Sandy Searles Miller Academy for International Studies was named for her in 2003.
Lorena Searles Demures to Mayor John Lee
Despite Lorena Searles’ long tenure as a fixture in the local community, she remains humble.
“I was talking to Mayor Lee, and he said, ‘You’ve done so much for this city.’ The only thing that I’ve done is live in this house for 62 years.”
“I did think it was so nice of him to do it, but there are so many different people down here that have worked so much harder. I’ve never done anything.”