Mill's History

Who was Joe Dan Mills Jr?

Picture of Joe Dan Mills Jr as Principal of Galindo Elementary School

Joe Dan Mills Jr was a local community educator who was dedicated to teaching kids in Texas for more than 30 years! Born in Coleman, Texas in March 1945, Joe Dan Mills Jr. spent a lifetime dedicated to improving the lives of students. After receiving his degree from Southwest Texas State University (SWT), he went on to marry his college sweetheart Carole Moore in February 1967. Mills went on to receive his Masters degree from SWT in 1969, and so began his three decades long journey in South Austin, his first home being on South First Street. 

In 1984, Mills nominated Emma Herrera Galindo to have a new school named after AISD’s first bilingual instructional coordinator and a celebrated special educator. Having died at age 52, Galindo had made an indelible impression on Mills, as he asked to be assigned to the newly built school as a teacher and ultimately as a principal. After moving on from teaching to becoming an area supervising principal, Joe Dan Mills Jr ultimately retired after 30 years with AISD. But his passion for education did not stop with his retirement from the district. Mills spent time in other areas of the Texas educational system, including the TEA. In November 1997, Joe Dan Mills Jr. passed away at the age of 52. His wife Carole, also a lifelong educator, spent the next year championing her husband’s work with AISD, ultimately having a beautiful school in Southwest Austin named in honor of him in 1998. We are proud to be named after such a hardworking and dedicated educator. We are Mills Elementary School!



School Info

Front entrance of Mills Elementary

Mills Elementary School, whose mascot is affectionately known as Milo the Mountain Lion, was built in 1998. This highly rated public school, nestled in beautiful southwest Austin, has classes ranging from Early Childhood Special Education to Pre-Kindergarten through 5th Grade. Enrichment like our Spanish program, MakerSpace Lab, and our focus on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) make Mills a special place to be. After school, Mills offers a variety of clubs, CREW, and the highly rated Third Base After School Program. It is the hard work of our PTA, the dedication of our community volunteers, and brilliant faculty members that help make our school and Mountain Lions so successful. 


Our School Song

Do you have pride, do you have pride are you a Mills Mountain Lion?

Yes I am!

Do you have dedication to your education?

Yes we do!

We're Mills Mountain Lions!

We're confident and brave. We try harder than the rest. We're ready for a challenge and we always do our best.

We're Mills Mountain Lions!

Hear us Roar!

Mills is GR-R-R-R-R-EAT!

Commonly used Mills logo of a mountain lion leaping