Superintendent Mike Miles
“Think Differently, Act Courageously”
Serving as the Superintendent of Schools for the Dallas Independent School District for the past two years has been a tremendous honor for me. Nearly 20,000 hard-working employees are focused on helping our nearly 161,000 students become ready for both college and the workplace, and I am confident we will provide the educational experiences that prepare our students for success now and in the future.
For two years, Dallas ISD has been on a path toward Destination 2020
, and we are excited to see the progress we have made, and look expectantly to the future. Towards that end, the Board has approved a rigorous principal evaluation system, and recently, approved the Teacher Excellence Initiative
, which will support, reward, and retain excellent educators throughout the District. We have also launched an initiative, Imagine 2020
, which provides additional resources to schools, and have begun developing systems to support our students earning career-ready certificates, leading directly to the career and college-ready goals outlined in Destination 2020.
My commitment to public education is the result of the transformative impact it had on my life. Teachers can change lives and what they do will have a lasting impact. As an elementary school student, two dedicated teachers worked with me to overcome my speech impediment. They helped instill in me hope, confidence, and a commitment that, with education and hard work, I could accomplish anything. For me, the son of an African-American father who was deployed multiple times to Korea and Vietnam and a Japanese mother with limited English skills, those two teachers, and the many who followed them, put me on a significantly different life trajectory.
Parents, community members, and support staff also make a difference. During my years as an educator, again and again I have seen the significant and irreplaceable role that support staff and administrators play, as well as the collective impact that community members and families have on the success of a student.
As a result of my education, and with the encouragement from my mother who made me complete my homework at the kitchen table every day, I have been fortunate to continue my education at some of the nation’s best schools, serve our country both stateside and abroad, and pursue opportunities beyond my imagination. As Superintendent of Dallas ISD, I work every day with our Board members, staff, faculty, parents, and community to make sure that every student in Dallas receives a high quality education that empowers them to have similar opportunities and experiences.
Welcome to the Dallas Independent School District, where we are thinking differently, and acting courageously to provide all of our students the high quality education they deserve.
About Mike Miles
After graduating from West Point with a degree in engineering, Mr. Miles entered the ranks of the Army officer corps at Ft. Lewis, Washington and became part of the elite Ranger Battalion and commanded an Infantry Rifle Company. Following the Army, Mr. Miles studied at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Leningrad in Russia, earning a degree in Slavic languages. Mr. Miles then completed his Master’s degree in Soviet affairs and public policy at Columbia University after winning a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities and a National Science Foundation Graduate Scholarship.
Upon graduation from Columbia, Mr. Miles joined the U.S. State Department and worked as an analyst at the Soviet Desk. In this role, he made policy recommendations and wrote talking points for the Secretary of State regarding German reunification, chemical weapons, NATO and other issues.
Mr. Miles then became a Foreign Service Officer representing the United States overseas. As a diplomat in Warsaw, Poland, he was responsible for tracking Poland’s evolving relations with Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe, specifically analyzing the strength of the Communist Party in Poland and correctly predicting its return to political power in 1993.
A tour at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow followed, where Mr. Miles served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to Russia. Mr. Miles helped coordinate the Embassy’s response to critical events during a time when Russia’s relations with the U.S. were as yet undefined. Mr. Miles received the State Department’s Meritorious Service Medal in 1994 as a result of his diplomatic service in Russia.
Ready to continue his commitment to public service stateside, Mr. Miles decided to become an educator, influenced by the difference teachers had made in his own life. Mr. Miles began as a high-school teacher at his alma mater in Fountain, Colorado where he taught high school math, social studies, and economics. Next, Mr. Miles became a middle school principal, followed by a stint as assistant superintendent.
In 2006, Mr. Miles took over as Superintendent of Harrison District 2 in Colorado Springs, one of the most ethnically diverse and economically disadvantaged districts in Colorado. During his tenure, the District raised student achievement by elevating academic standards, aligning the curriculum and focusing on principal leadership and teachers’ quality of instruction. Mr. Miles began his tenure as Dallas ISD’s 21st Superintendent of Schools on July 1, 2012.
Upon assuming leadership of the district, Superintendent Miles led the development of Destination 2020, a comprehensive plan designed to raise student achievement so that Dallas ISD students are prepared for college and careers. The plan, now in implementation, emphasizes four fundamental tenets: Focusing on the Classroom, Investing in People, Strengthening our Systems, and Engaging the Community. In the first two years of his tenure, DISD adopted a new principal evaluation system and a teacher evaluation system that ties teacher evaluations to performance, student achievement results, and compensation.
Mr. Miles and wife Karen have three children—two who recently graduated from UCLA and Berkeley, and son Anthony, who is in middle school.