Inside D Magazine’s April 2014 Issue

When Zac Crain set out to profile Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles, the goal was to humanize the man with what could be the hardest job in Dallas. We’d seen his very public flops and read about the troubled district over and over and, yes, over again. But Miles was a bit of a mystery. Who is he? And why is he here while his family is back in Colorado? Oh, and does he have a shot at doing anything productive with DISD? Frankly, a cursory glance of local media, including D Magazine, would have you believe Miles was a lost cause. That disdain, in fact, has already surfaced in the comments of “Who’s Out to Get Mike Miles?

Little did we know, however, that the home-rule debate would erupt right as we went to press. Now, I’d argue, the story of Miles is even more telling. Some DISD constituents are so fed up with the district and his performance that they’re attempting to essentially separate from the mandates of the state. This could change any number of things, including the governing structure of the district. There could be no superintendent, or the superintendent’s job could change completely. Miles, at least in his current capacity, could be out of a job. But for now, while the conversations continue and petitioners gather signatures, Miles is still at the helm, still plugging away, still trying as best as he can to improve DISD. It’s a valiant effort, even with the opposition.

Colten Moore at the X Games. Photo by Elizabeth Lavin.
Colten Moore at the X Games. Photo by Elizabeth Lavin.

Out in Krum, Texas, another kind of bravery entirely has been on display. Colten Moore and his older brother, Caleb, would spend hours launching their snowmobiles into a foam pit, practicing flips and spins and jumps. They quickly became extreme athletes to watch. They’d take their tricks to competition and return home medalists. But then, at the X Games in 2013, everything changed. While attempting a backflip, Caleb’s snowmobile under-rotated. Caleb flew off, and the snowmobile followed, rolling down the hill and landing on him. Caleb would later die from his injuries, the first death in X Games history, and Colten would also go home physically injured. As he recovered, he had to decide whether to return to the mountain. The choice wasn’t hard. He’d ride for Caleb. But the hype surrounding Colten as a competitor had vanished. As the games approached, Michael J. Mooney and Elizabeth Lavin headed to Colorado to watch Colten’s return. The only journalists in the Moore camp, surrounded by Colten’s family, they stood by as he practiced, as his family shielded him from reporters, as he flew off those same jumps that proved devastating the year before. And they watched as X Games history was made. Warning: grab the tissues. “Colten Moore Returns to the Mountaintop” is a tear-jerker.

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And finally, on the lighter side, D Magazine staffers, led by the esteemed Nancy Nichols, shopped our way through the metro area to produce “The Food Lover’s Guide to Dallas.” The photography alone is mouth-watering, and the products and shops selected will spruce up your kitchen guaranteed. Dinner invitations welcome.