Miles goes to Washington

Outgoing Tempe Union High School Superintendent Shirley Miles has a new job: deputy director of education for the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. Miles will start her new job in late June.

Outgoing Tempe Union High School District Superintendent Shirley Miles has accepted a new position � jet-setting international administrator for the federal government. �Dr. Shirley Miles has accepted the position as deputy director of education for the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C.,� said district spokeswoman Linda Littell. �She�ll be traveling internationally and she�ll actually start traveling with them at the end of June.� Miles will appear at her final board meeting June 30, and the district�s associate superintendent Steve Adolph will assume Miles� vacated seat July 1. A three-year contract for Adolph was formally approved Monday by Tempe Union�s board. His base salary will be $150,000 per year; Miles� was $144,000. Adolph was hired May 11 after a national search. The Department of Defense Education Activity is a civilian agency with 104,000 students in 200 public schools spread across 12 foreign countries, seven U.S. states, Guam and Puerto Rico. Miles will travel among all of them and will supervise 13,600 employees. And she couldn�t be happier. �It�s a perfect fit,� Miles said. �It�s kind of my dream job.� Miles has worked for Tempe Union since 2003. She announced last December that she would neither seek nor accept a new contract when her current one expires June 30. Miles, a 50-year-old divorcee, said then that with all her children grown and away at college, it was time to explore career opportunities in different parts of the country. �My advantages are that I�m single and I�m mobile,� she said then. �That means I can get up and go, and do whatever I want.� And get up and go she will. Her position as deputy director will send her to England, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Cuba, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Turkey and Bahrain. Miles, an avid traveler, has visited all those countries save the last three. She said she�d done a self-evaluation, where she identified what she wanted out of a new job, and decided she wanted one that would improve her quality of life, challenge her and still allow her to pursue hobbies like traveling. �It�s wonderful, and I�m excited about it,� she said. �Truly Tempe (Union) was wonderful, because certainly without this experience I wouldn�t have had this job offer.� Miles learned about the opening in Education Week, an industry publication that functions as a professional journal. �It was kind of a fluke thing; they don�t advertise in journals like that very often,� Miles said. �It�s been years, because most of the time they�d just fill it from within.� The power transfer from Miles to Adolph is already under way, and will be completed by the time Adolph officially assumes the leadership position. �I really do appreciate the board giving me a chance, and it�s certainly worked out for me,� Miles said. �And it�s worked out for the district since they got someone they wanted in Steve. The transition will be smooth.� She added, laughing, �Of course, I don�t know how smooth the transition will be for me to Washington, D.C.!� --Jason Ludwig can be reached at (480) 898-7916 or

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