Magazine Feature / People

Alumna to direct defense education

Shirley Miles (PhD ’01) is the new director of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). She has served as the department’s associate director for education and principal deputy director since June 2007.

David Chu, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, made the announcement in July.

“Dr. Miles has over 30 years of experience in education and in the private sector, and she has demonstrated a dedication and a passion for achieving excellence,” Chu said.

“She is well prepared to take this excellent school system into the future by focusing on continuous improvement and developing new approaches to ensure educational success for military students around the world — both inside and outside the gate.”

Miles said she is looking toward the future and focusing on student achievement.

“I am honored to have been selected for this position, and I’m looking forward to leading this great organization as we continue to focus on high student achievement and preparing our students for success inside and outside of the classroom,” she said.

In June, Miles was awarded DU’s 6th annual Morgridge College of Education Leaders in Learning Award, which recognizes alumni for their outstanding contributions and leadership to support, enhance and advocate for education and learning opportunities in their communities.

Prior to joining DoDEA, Miles was the superintendent for the Tempe Union High School District, a 14,000-student high school district in Tempe, Ariz. She began her education career in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she taught history, economics and law at the Air Academy School District.

She served as an assistant principal and high school principal in Denver and later became human resources director for the Academy District in Colorado Springs. Miles also was an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado (Colorado Springs) training educators in school supervision and evaluation, multicultural education and other courses designed for school principals.

Miles earned a PhD in curriculum and instruction from the University of Denver in 2001. She holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Colorado.

DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

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