Miles Treakle ’96, associate general counsel of Avalara, Inc., can trace the start of his career back to his time at St. Anne’s-Belfield School.
“The academic rigor of my St. Anne’s-Belfield School education has had an enduring impact on my career path,” he said. “Even if I somehow had managed to gain admission to the University of Virginia without first attending the School, I would have been ill-prepared to tackle its academic demands. And without the finance education I received at U.Va.’s McIntire School of Commerce, I never would have considered practicing corporate law, which ultimately led me to join Avalara to work on its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.”
At the School, Treakle played lacrosse for Coach Doug Tarring. Today, he continues his athletic journey with long distance running.
“Learning to balance academics and athletics has been a lifelong gift,” he said. “While I no longer play team sports, long distance running has become an indispensable release valve for a stressful professional career. I have run more than twenty marathons and ultramarathons, but the real benefit comes not from race day but the mental refresh provided by daily training runs.”
Treakle counts Mr. Pierce Johnson, Mr. John Amos, and Coach Tarring as just three of many wonderful teachers who have had a lasting impact on him. He credits their support, willingness to engage, and “tough love” as factors that motivated him to push beyond what he thought possible.
“Asking my parents if I could transfer to St. Anne’s-Belfield was one of the first leaps of faith that have brought me to where I am today,” he noted. “Something within me thought that was the right thing to do, but I couldn’t have predicted how right that rather impulsive decision would prove to be. Similarly, I would encourage current students to trust their own instincts and jump at opportunities wherever you find them. You should value and appreciate the advice you receive from parents, teachers, and friends, but ultimately you are your own best guide.”