Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award Presentation To Dr. Al Mijares

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On May 23, Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America Executive Board member, Dennis Hardin, and five representatives of the Scout council, surprised Dr. Mijares at the Executive Leadership Series with a very special recognition. He was presented with the BSA National Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award.

The other council representatives joining the presentation team included:  Jeff Herrmann, Council President and Scout Executive, Jessica Starbuck, Council Vice Chair of Membership, Danny Tucker, Deputy Scout Executive and Marty Cutrone, Director of Strategic Alliances and Melissa Dundovich, Council Marketing Specialist. During the presentation, Mr. Hardin also acknowledged Dennis Cole who is the Chairman of the council’s Educational Partnerships initiative on the Orange County Council Strategic Alliances Committee. “We deeply appreciate what you bring to our leadership team,” Dennis said enthusiastically, “…including your creative guidance in pulling off this “little surprise” this morning.”

Mr. Hardin, the President of Hardin Automotive group in Anaheim and a council executive board member for over 45 years, went on to say, “The Mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.  The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, created the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award to honor professionals in education who exemplify good character and inspire students to do likewise.”

The council team provided a hand out with a description of the Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award and other Orange County Scouting facts in a four page brochure entitled, “Boy Scouts America, A Partner in Education.”

Dr. Fretwell, the namesake of this award, was an early advocate of the Scouting movement in the United States and a leading scholar in education, focusing on the value of extra-curricular opportunities to improve educational outcomes.

Mr. Hardin went on to acknowledge Dr. Mijares contribution to values based education over his illustrious career, “Dr. Mijares has led the way in character development and values-based education throughout his career.  From his years as the Superintendent of the Santa Ana Unified School District, followed by his leadership role with the College Board, to his current tenure as the Superintendent of the Orange County Department of Education, Al has been an exemplary example of the Scouting’s moto, Prepared. For life.

Perhaps the most powerful example of his visionary, values-driven leadership is the One Billion Acts of Kindness initiative he launched just a couple years ago.

The Orange County Council has been honored to participate as a partner in this kindness movement…and will continue to do so indefinitely.   The sixth point of the Scout Law, “A Scout is Kind,” is arguably the defining virtue of Scouting.

It is my honor to present Dr. Al Mijares with the 2019 Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award…the very first Fretwell award presented by the Orange County Council.  Thank you again for allowing us to join you this morning.  Going forward, it is our desire to present Fretwell Outstanding Educator Awards locally, to teachers, principals and school district administrators across Orange County, both this year and many years to come.

We are deeply honored to partner with all of you as we deliver the values-based education program of Scouting to over 60,000 youth in Orange County.”