Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News
New Dallas schools chief Mike Miles says he knows he has work to do, saying the district is a good one that needs to move to great.
Dallas schools Superintendent Mike Miles is officially on the clock.
Miles walked into the Dallas Independent School District's Ross Avenue headquarters on Monday as the new leader.
On day one, the expectations are high.
"I know there are high expectations, and people have a right to have those high expectations," Miles told a room full of reporters. "We have a unique opportunity right now in Dallas to do good things for kids and move the district forward."
Miles said he has visited fewer than 10 schools and plans to talk to dozens of teachers and principals.
"I think there is a lot for me to learn," he said. "It is only the first day on the job."
But the pressure is already building.
Miles ruffled a few feathers when he hired a communications director, Jennifer Sprague, from his old job in Colorado. Her salary? A cool $185,000, which was hard for some people to swallow when the district is closing down schools and cutting jobs.
But Miles pointed out Monday that he has saved more than $1 million so far from the administrative positions that he restructured. He said he feels people will understand the hiring once they see how the new employees perform.
"I think the taxpayers at the end of the day are going to be happy at the end of the day with the sorts of talents we've received and the amount of work that they're going to do," he said.
Miles has already set forth a plan to improve the district in documents posted on DISD's website. The documents are long on goals, but there are not many details on how to achieve the goals.
On his first day on the job, Miles sounded confident that he would reach those goals.
"If we stay true to the kids, and if we work every day on behalf of the kids, and we do our very best for the kids, and that's how we come to work, we're going to do what the community expects us to do," he said.