Colorado educator is pick for Dallas ISD superintendent




Posted on April 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 2 at 10:05 PM

DALLAS — The Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees Monday announced their pick to be the next superintendent.

He is Mike Miles, currently serving as superintendent of the Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs, Colorado, since 2006. It is a much smaller system, with 10,000 students in 13 elementary schools, one K-8 school, three middle schools, and two high schools.

DISD serves more than 157,000 students.

Miles, 55, graduated from West Point in 1978, serving in the Army's elite Ranger Battalion and commanding an infantry rifle company, according to his online biography. He later pursued advanced study of Soviet affairs at Columbia University and went to work for the State Department, serving as an overseas diplomat in Warsaw and Moscow.

He is being called an innovator and a reformer, an educator for 17 years who has helped turn around graduation rates in Colorado Springs.

"I applied to the Dallas ISD superintendent position because having read and researched your board, I knew that they were board-focused on kids... focused on doing everything they can for our students in Dallas, and I knew that they were also... have made some tough decisions, and ready to continue reform efforts," Miles said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

He said he was honored to have the opportunity to work with the board and with the Dallas community.

"We have a great community here — one that's interested in education and trying to move education forward," Miles said. "I have no doubt together that we can make Dallas the greatest school district in the nation."

Under Texas law, miles cannot become superintendent for at least 21 days, during which time his background will be carefully vetted. It is expected he will take over at DISD on July 2.

Miles talked about growing up as an at-risk kid with a speech problem, one of eight children in his family.

"My dad always told me, 'Being born in a garage doesn't make you a car.' And when I was three, that didn't mean anything to me; it was kind of confusing," he said. "But I think I understand it now: That we can escape our background and we can reach our potential no matter what conditions we grew up under."

Miles said he was lucky to have had great teachers who "made all the difference" as he was growing up.

"It was a different time, a different era. Age of Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, and I hope we haven't lost that dream," he said. "A child's education shouldn't be dependent upon luck. It should be an expectation."

Mills acknowledged that the educational landscape is changing, along with the workforce and the workplace. "We're going to have to build an adaptive organization so that we can continue to provide the best education possible — for all kids — well into the future," he said. "I have no doubt that if we work together, this is going to happen."

Miles is married and has three children, ranging in age from 10 to 20.

He will replace Michael Hinojosa, who left DISD last year for a similar position in an Atlanta suburb.


Mike Miles talks about student achievement and the pay-for-performance process he implemented in Colorado Springs: