Home News Local News Dexter selects 23-year educator as next superintendent

Dexter selects 23-year educator as next superintendent

Members of the Dexter Consolidated Schools District Board of Education, including Orlando Chavez, left, and James Salas, announce their choice for superintendent during their April 12 meeting. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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The Dexter Consolidated Schools District has chosen an area educator with 23 years of experience as a teacher and administrator as its next superintendent.

After a 25-minute executive session at the end of its regular monthly meeting Monday night, the Board of Education announced its decision to offer the position to Miles Mitchell, who now serves as a high school agricultural education and metal fabrication teacher and as a Future Farmers of America club advisor with the Artesia Public Schools.

“It took all of us to make this selection, the public, staff, leadership staff,” said James Salas, board president. “For everybody who applied, we appreciate your interest. It has not gone unnoticed. We had a great pool of applicants, and I think we made the best selection that we could at this time.”

Salas was joined in his decision by board vice president Orlando Chavez, board secretary Nancy Miles and board members Andrea McGarrah and Juanita Segovia.

Mitchell is scheduled to begin his position July 1. His contract will run until June 30, 2023, and his annual salary will be $125,000 a year.

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He will replace Lesa Dodd, who announced in November that she would retire June 30 after 30 years in the profession. For 25 years, she has worked with the Dexter district, including eight years as superintendent, 10 years as a high school teacher and seven years as middle school principal.

Mitchell said he is excited about the opportunity and the chance to create new opportunities for students.

“It has been a long 12 months and I think we all want positive change and positive new directions,” he said. “I look forward to being engaged with the community and doing good for our kids, our students.”

Mitchell lives in Roswell with his wife, Stacy, also an educator. They have two sons who attend Texas Tech University.

He began teaching in 1998 as a trades department instructor with Doña Ana Community College and as a Silver Consolidated Schools District agricultural education teacher. In 2007, he joined Melrose Municipal Schools and worked there both as a teacher with a full class load as well as the interim principal of the pre-kindergarten to sixth-grade program.

In July 2010, Mitchell became the K-12 principal of Grady Municipal Schools. In July 2012, he was named superintendent of Texico Municipal Schools. Working for that district of 680 students until June 2015, he also was the director of athletics, special education, transportation and federal programs.

When he joined Artesia High School in July 2015, Mitchell helped identify the need for additional skilled labor training and to create a $1.5 million welding shop for a fabrication and welding program that serves 130 students a day.

He holds two degrees from New Mexico State University, a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business and Economics and a Master of Arts in Agricultural Education. He also has studied school administration at Wayland Baptist University.

Mitchell has been involved as an advisor with FFA since 1998 and is now a member of the New Mexico FFA Board of Directors. He holds a license as a K-12 administrator, certification as an administrative and instructional leader, and endorsements as a science, business education and agriculture teacher.

Mitchell was one of four finalists interviewed April 3 by a panel of about 25 people that included Board of Education members, community members and district personnel. The New Mexico School Board Association assisted the board during the search.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.