Leigh Mills

lmills@nbc15.com

I am married to my best friend and have two stepchildren and a dog, so much of my spare time is spent with my family.

Hometown
Cortland, Ohio… although I now consider southern Wisconsin my home.

Years at station
10 years! I started on Sept. 17, 2003.

Other professional experience
If you don't count the two other positions I've held at the station (I was a general assignment reporter at NBC 15 from September 2003-July 2004 and then took a seat at the anchor desk as weekend anchor for 6 months), I moved to Madison from Ohio, where I spent four years as a reporter, anchor, producer, and sometimes photographer and editor for WOUB-TV in Athens, OH. I also worked at The Government Channel in Athens, where I hosted election shows and covered city government news. And I spent a short time working in Charleston, West Virginia at WCHS-TV.

Education
I graduated from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University with a major in Broadcast-Journalism and a minor in French. I also spent 3 months studying in Tours, France at the Institut de Touraine. I started studying journalism at Northwestern University through its Radio, TV and Film program as a high school senior.

Hobbies and/or interests
I am married to my best friend and have two stepchildren and a dog, so much of my spare time is spent with my family. I also enjoy outdoor activities, including running, biking and riding horses. In fact, in 2011 I competed in an "A show" for horse jumping! I also enjoy downhill skiing and am trying to get better at skate skiing on some of the cross country trails. In my free time I enjoy reading, playing the piano and watching movies. And even in Packers country, I’m not afraid to admit that I am still a Cleveland Browns fan!

Community Involvement
I am an active volunteer with the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I emcee the MS Walk and MS Luncheon in Madison and ride Bike MS, a two day 150 mile bike ride from Waukesha to Whitewater to Madison. I am on the Madison Ballet Board of Directors, and I am on the Board of Trustees for DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services). I also emcee the DAIS Luncheon and other DAIS events. And I volunteer for NAMI Dane County and the United Way. During the summer, you can find me at area Relay for Life events, festivals and parades and when I'm lucky, judging food contests!

What are your favorite books?
Harry Potter, Life in Mid Air, Loving Frank, Firefly Lane, Bravehearts and The Exorcist. Right now my husband and I are reading a Stephen King book. The Secret Garden is probably my favorite from my childhood.

What is your favorite movie?
My all-time favorite is Shakespeare in Love (1999 Best Picture). I love so many movies. My favorite genres are period pieces, drama, thriller, action/adventure and romance. I also enjoy revisiting older animated movies and musicals. If I had to name a few favs, my list would be: Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader, The Notebook, The Sound of Music, The Little Mermaid, The Cutting Edge, Pulp Fiction and The Departed.

Describe your most interesting assignment?
I find enjoyment in many stories I work on, but there are a few in particular that stick out in my mind. My two favorite annual assignments are surprising area teachers with the Crystal Apple Award every May and covering the latest news related to Multiple Sclerosis and the impact the disease has on area families every July.

One of my most interesting/memorable stories focused on forgiveness. I interviewed Jackie Millar, who was shot in the back of the head by two teenagers and left to die. Now 13 years later, she visits both men in prison, hugs them and even tells them that she loves them. She is an inspiring story of choices, forgiveness and love.

Another story that really sticks out in my mind focused on a lodge in the Northwoods that caters to families with terminally sick children or those that have recently lost a child. It is a place for families to grieve and also a place for them to make new memories. I interviewed a Wisconsin family that so bravely told the story of their second son, who was a stillbirth. Their story impacted so many area families. I was proud to have played a small role in making that happen.

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