State organization recognizes OC Supt. Mijares as a ‘champion’ for students

Orange County Superintendent Al Mijares has been presented with the Champions Award by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association.

The association commonly known as CCSESA supports students, schools, districts and communities by enhancing the service and leadership capabilities of California’s 58 county superintendents.

Al Mijares
Orange County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares in 2017.

CCSESA’s Champions Award, established in 2006, annually recognizes a county superintendent who is viewed by peers as a champion of California’s students and who selflessly “epitomizes the mission of CCSESA” in support of public education. Winners are selected by a group of association past presidents.

Mijares said he was honored to receive the accolade but gave credit to the staff at OCDE, noting their work on such initiatives as California’s Multi-Tiered System of Support framework, health education and the Strong Workforce program.

“Awards like these are never given for the achievement of one person,” he said. “They are based on the team that’s in place and what they’ve been able to accomplish together. I am so appreciative of the work that everybody’s doing.”

Mijares was appointed as Orange County’s superintendent of schools in August 2012 and elected to full terms in 2014 and 2018. Before that, he served for six years as vice president of the College Board, and he spent 11 years as superintendent of the Santa Ana Unified School District.

Under Mijares’ leadership, OCDE has pursued the vision that “Orange County students will lead the nation in college and career readiness and success.” He has also embraced the whole-child approach to teaching and learning while promoting character.

“We are very interested in following all state standards and holding ourselves accountable,” he said. “But in the middle of that, the foundation and the glue is character.”