Students First
Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Miriah Whitaker

Miriah is the current head coach of The Tigerbytes (team #1775) and an engineer at Burns & McDonnell.

Miriah’s mentoring style is student forward, where she focuses on asking questions and encouraging students to make the critical choices.

The goal is always student education, even if it means not winning at competition. She makes it a point to never design or build any part of the robot, instead, giving students the platform to build confidence in their ideas. Miriah encourages other mentors to recognize how much they have to offer students with just their encouragement:

“I always challenge (potential mentors) to just be present. It is amazing what can happen when you just listen and interact with the students. Mentoring isn’t about having all the answers and it isn’t about being the smartest one there. It is about supporting the students and sharing your perspective. Encouraging a student to do their best and celebrating the successes is sometimes all it takes to make a difference.”

Because of her coaching, the Tigerbytes is a fully student centered team. Student leadership in the Tigerbytes is a growing force and in turn the team has become competitive in FRC against others that routinely bring industry professionals into play. Miriah is an exemplar of StudentsFIRST values, and the Tigerbytes is proof of the ideas’ efficacy.

While we are working to get students the agency they need to contribute meaningfully on their teams, we also want to acknowledge that the vast majority of mentors and coaches really do put students first. Many mentors, coaches, and volunteers are joining StudentsFIRST because they agree with our goals.

To celebrate the coaches, mentors and volunteers who put students first, we are creating a Hall of Fame on our website. If you would like to nominate a great adult on your team for a StudentsFIRST Hall of Fame award, please email us,, with their name, photo, and a paragraph on why this adult is so special and how they put students first. Please also include your team number. We will add them to our website on the Hall of Fame page, and we will email you a certificate that you can print and present to them.