Mijares was appointed Orange County Superintendent of Schools in August 2012, and prior to that time he served for six years as the Vice President of the College Board where he worked to expand the high school-to-university pipeline, in order to assure the college readiness and success for students, especially the underrepresented.
He joined the College Board after serving as Superintendent of the Santa Ana (CA) Unified School District for more than 11 years. Under his guidance, the district received national recognition for successfully meeting the needs of its diverse student body. Mijares was praised for his innovative curricular reform and for improving reading and math skills.
Before Santa Ana, Mijares served as Superintendent of the Bakersfield (CA) City School District and Coachella Valley (CA) Unified School District and as a principal in the Moreno Valley Unified School District in Riverside County, CA. Before and during these administrative posts, he held faculty positions as an adjunct professor at Chapman University in Orange, CA, and taught part-time at both Pepperdine University’s Los Angeles campus and at Compton College in Compton, CA. Additionally he also served on the Ambassador Advisory Committee under University of Southern California President, Steven Sample.
He 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, on the advisory board of Public Schools for Tomorrow, and was the first chairman of the Santa Ana Empowerment Zone board of directors. Additionally, he is the recipient of several 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.
He 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 handicapped children in public schools, Mijares earned his master’s in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He holds several school credentials, including school psychology and school administration. Al is married to Jackie and they are the proud parents of 5 grown sons all of whom graduated from the public school system. The eldest four are college graduates, and the youngest will graduate in May.