Dr. Al Mijares was appointed as Orange County superintendent of schools in August 2012 and elected to full terms in 2014 and 2018. He previously served for six years as vice president of the College Board, where he worked to expand the high school-to-university pipeline as part of an effort to promote college readiness and success for all students.
Before joining the College Board, Dr. Mijares served for more than 11 years as superintendent of the Santa Ana Unified School District, which received national recognition for successfully meeting the needs of a large and diverse student body. He has also served as superintendent of the Bakersfield City and Coachella Valley Unified school districts and as a principal in the Moreno Valley Unified School District in Riverside County.
Dr. Mijares is treasurer of Comunidad Latina Federal Credit Union, a member of the Board of Trustees for Biola University, a past member of the advisory council of the Tiger Woods Learning Center Foundation, a member of the advisory board of Public Schools for Tomorrow, and former first chairman of the Santa Ana Empowerment Zone board of directors.
He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the American Association of School Administrators Leadership for Learning Award, the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2005 Educator of the Year Award, the League of United Latin American Citizens’ 2004 Excellence in Education Award, the Association of California School Administrators’ Diversity Award, and the California School Board Association’s Merit Award for Outstanding Leadership.
In 2017, the Institute for Community Impact named Dr. Mijares as one of four Pillars of Influence in Orange County, and in 2021 he made the Orange County Register’s list of 125 top local influencers.
Dr. Mijares earned his bachelor’s degree in child development/special education from California State University, Northridge. While working in the San Francisco Bay area as a project specialist for physically disabled children in public schools, he earned his master’s degree in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. He went on to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and he holds several education credentials, including school psychology and school administration.
Al and his wife, Jackie, are the proud parents of five grown sons, all of whom attended public schools and have graduated from college.