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DALLAS Two days before a meeting that could determine his fate, Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles was dancing and smiling, hoping to rally his troops for the new school year.

But is Miles in a real groove, or is he tap dancing waiting for Thursday?

That's when DISD trustees get an update on the internal investigation into Miles' alleged violation of bid practices.

Either way, Miles' mission on Tuesday was to motivate and inspire.

Perhaps his mission was also to prove that the man critics called "cold-hearted" and a "bully," is actually caring, compassionate, and charming.

Then maybe his mission is to convince the city that the man whose first year in Dallas plagued by cabinet member defections, misconduct allegations and high teacher turn-over is really fostering an environment of success.

"A culture of teamwork, Miles told teachers gathered at the Skyline High School gymnasium for his second year convocation. We are building a culture where we rely on each other."

Miles punctuated his message with music, multimedia and the metaphor, that educating children is much like making a movie.

"Our movie would have drama, naysayers, perhaps a dance number, and of course the obligatory monologue with obligatory background music," Miles said, speaking over the dramatic score from the musical "Les Miserables."

While some educators in the audience gave Miles two thumbs up for his performance, others kept their critiques to themselves.

Throughout it all, Miles gave no indication he is affected by the allegations that he tried to cover up an internal investigation, also the subject of a potentially damaging report that could be released this week.

I can't talk about that, Miles said. We are excited about the kids, and the kids coming on the first day of school."

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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