In spring of 2008, Mills embarked on his first leadership role as the Department Chairperson of Mathematics at Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark, NJ. It is there, where he began to fulfill his true passion of educating the youth. After two years as Math Department Chairperson, Mills was promoted to Vice Principal. After one stellar year, at the age of 28, Mills was promoted to Principal of Malcolm X Shabazz High School (MXS). One of the most troubled schools in the Newark Public Schools District, with a history of low-test scores, MXS was threatened with possibility of closure. Mills took on the challenge and fully implemented his strategy of education reform by becoming an accessible and relatable leader for the school community.
He accomplished the unthinkable, by drastically improving student test scores, created a safe school atmosphere and made the students believe in their selves, the school and in education again. Under his leadership the illustrious school pride and sports culture was featured on Sports Illustrated award winning series “Underdogs”. In addition, Star-Ledger released a series of articles and documentary authenticating the school’s turnaround.