A Founder’s Passion Sparks Direction For New Ignite Middle School!

While enrolled in medical school and doing night rounds at a hospital, Michael Gayles came to a life-changing de­cision: he would follow his dream of becoming an educa­tor.

Dr. Gayles was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. He at­tended Buffalo public schools and in 1991 was valedictorian of the graduating class at Buf­falo Traditional High School, now nan1ed Performing Arts. After graduating from medi­cal school, Gayles went on to serve as a teacher at North Dallas High School and, sev­eral years later, as an assis­tant principal at T. W. Browne Middle School. Today, Gayles is helping open and serving as principal at IGNITE Middle School, the new Dallas ISO Personalized Learning trans­formation campus which opened in August, 2018.

“Growing up I didn’t have anyone who helped me think about what 1 was passionate about or possible career paths 1 could pursue,” Gayles said. “What I’m most excited about is how Ignite Middle School will help students discover their passions at an early age.” IGNITE Middle School is seeing tremendous inter­est: more than 700 incoming sixth-graders applied for what was originally 150 seats. Due to the high interest, the cam­pus increased its inaugural class to 230 students.

IGNITE Middle School is a Personalized Learning campus that will provide in­dividualized instruction, not only based on each student’s academic needs, but also on their interests and goals. The students will take field trips to high schools, colleges and workplaces to help them bet­ter envision their future.

“The most important re­source in a child’s educational life is their own potential. If we can ignite that potential, they will be unstoppable,” Gayles said. “Ignite is dedi­cated to helping students dis­cover their super powers.”

IGNITE Middle School is opening thanks to the Of­fice of Transformation and Innovation’ Public School Choice Competitive Proposal Process. The process give educators the chance to cre­ate high-quality, best-fit op­tions for Dallas ISO students to realize their full academic potential.

Dr. Michael K.Gayles is the youngest of the six children of Edward and Doris Gayles and he is the husband of Cheryl Hunter Gayles. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University Of Notre Dame with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science. He then went on to earn an M.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.