Orange County Board of Education set to appoint new county superintendent 

The Orange County Board of Education is poised to appoint a new county superintendent of schools to succeed Dr. Al Mijares, who has announced his plans to retire on June 30.

The open session portion of tonight’s meeting will begin at 5 p.m. at the Board Room of the Orange County Department of Education, which is located at 200 Kalmus Drive. The meeting will also be streamed live on YouTube.

The county superintendent oversees schools, programs and educational services managed by the Orange County Department of Education and serves as OCDE’s employer of record. Additionally, the position provides mandated fiscal oversight for Orange County school districts, ensures access to adequate instructional materials, and reviews and approves district-level Local Control and Accountability Plans.

During a special session on May 22, the five-member county board interviewed six applicants vying to fill the balance of Dr. Mijares’ term, which runs through 2026. The candidates are:

  • Dr. Stefan Bean, who is currently executive director of Irvine International Academy and is the former superintendent and associate superintendent of Aspire Public Schools Los Angeles, where he worked for over 11 years

  • Dennis Cole, who serves as director of district partnerships and operations for OCDE’s Alternative Education division (ACCESS) and is a trustee for the Fountain Valley School District

  • Dr. Charles D. Hinman, who served as superintendent of the West Covina Unified School District and has been interim superintendent of the Fountain Valley and Westminster school districts, as well as Oxford Preparatory Academy

  • Dr. Maria Martinez-Poulin, who has served as superintendent of the Whittier City School District, interim superintendent for the Culver City Unified School District and deputy superintendent for the Los Angeles County Office of Education

  • Dr. Ramon Miramontes, who currently serves as OCDE’s deputy superintendent of instructional programs and is the former superintendent of the Buena Park School District

  • Kirsten Vital Brulte, who served as superintendent of the Capistrano and Alameda unified school districts from 2009 through 2022

Along with providing direct instruction to Orange County students through its own Alternative Education and Special Education programs, OCDE supports local districts with services necessary for their operations, including professional development, high-speed internet access and security, legal and fiscal guidance, payroll systems, Local Control and Accountability Plan assistance and approval, and student enrichment.

The full agenda for Tuesday’s meeting is available on the Orange County Board of Education’s website.