Hon. Craig Mitchell (UHS ’74), Spirit of Excellence in Service

Craig Mitchell graduated from University High School in 1974, where he was active in student government, serving as Uni’s ASB President as well as the first student representative to IUSD’s School Board. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles while working 35 hours per week to put himself through school. After graduation, he went on to teach high school for 16 years, primarily in South and East Los Angeles. As a teacher, he led annual excursions of students to Washington, DC to inspire students to careers in public service, many of whom he still keeps in contact with today.

While teaching full-time, Mitchell pursued a law degree at night and obtained his Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School in 1991. Mitchell joined the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office as a prosecutor and served there 9 years before being appointed a judge in the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles. For more than 20 years, he has coached mock trial through the Constitution Rights Foundation, and many of his former students now appear before him as attorneys.
After being introduced to the Midnight Mission by a parolee who benefitted from their work, Mitchell, an avid runner, created a running club for residents of the mission. Mitchell trains with the residents three times per week, seeing the commitment and perseverance necessary to run marathons as tools that will prove useful in their lives. Mitchell collects donated shoes for the runners, and often pays the race entry fees personally to give all the club members an opportunity to participate and reach the finish line.

Mitchell and his wife, Juliet, have 3 children and reside in Los Angeles. As a person dedicated to public service, both on the job and off duty, IPSF is proud to honor Craig Mitchell with our inaugural Spirit of Excellence in Service Award.

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Irvine Public Schools Foundation

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The mission of the Irvine Public Schools Foundation is to enrich the educational experience of each child in every school. We achieve this by providing programs, raising funds, and uniting the community in support of educational excellence.

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