Meet the LAUSD school board candidates: Miguel Ángel Segura is running for ‘better outcomes’ for students
Destiny Torres and Veronica Sierra | March 1, 2022
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This article is part of a collaboration between The 74 and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
This profile is part of “Meet the LAUSD school board candidates,” a series focusing on the candidates running for three open seats on the seven-member school board. LAUSD is the largest school district in the country with an elected school board. The primary is June 7. Candidates have until March 9 to qualify for the ballot by submitting signatures. Read all the pieces in the series as they are published here. Profiles have been edited for length and clarity.
Name: Miguel Ángel Segura
Background/profession: Public School Teacher, Organizer, Elected Official Staffer, National Advance Staff
Why are you running?
I am running because I AM Board District 2 (BD2). I was born, raised, and living in BD2. I attended Union Elementary School, Virgil Middle School, and Belmont High School … I am a product of BD2. I have been a student of LAUSD, a board member staffer for LAUSD, and currently, a teacher for the district. I know every angle of education at LAUSD … , that is best … Once I have the privilege to serve as the BD2 member, it will be an honor … to represent each neighborhood and community, rather than being a “job” … My collaborative approach to work with … members will enhance the successes set out for BD2, as we all can leverage each other’s successes and learn lessons for better outcomes. Better outcomes in BD2 are my reasons for running.
How are you different from other candidates?
I have relationships at the federal, state and local levels to continue the efforts of community schools, which enhance my experience, expertise, and commitment.
I relate with the people in each neighborhood, community, and area of BD2 because I, too, was raised by immigrant parents seeking an opportunity for me to have something better. I had fundamental support in seeking my ambitious goals …, I worked … to save money and help my family … I come from a long line of hard workers, whose work ethic is a part of me and is the reason I was able to achieve what I have thus far. Even during exciting and high-profile times working on residential races or for the U.S. Department of Education, I have dedicated my life to community and public service … I am from a working family. I know working families and I serve working families, because I remain a working member of the same community I am running to represent.
What’s the most important issue in your district?
Community schools and reclassification. Students in my community are not being reclassified on time. We need more efforts to reclassify our low income communities. First, the community schools approach will provide a wraparound approach to support and guide the students attending those schools as well as their family members, all to reach … emotional wellbeing and educational support … to improve their impoverished and underserved communities.
What should be Superintendent Carvalho’s top priority?
Mental Health, teacher retention, teachers of color retention. Attracting students back into LAUSD schools. We have low enrollment in our schools and we need to focus on traditional schools.
What skills or past experiences have prepared you to serve as a board member?
In addition to being a staffer to elected officials and Masters in Education, as a current and ongoing educator, I am closely aware of what students, parents/caregivers, school staff, and teachers need to continue their successes … I am aware that success looks different in every state as I staff presidential elections … The same goes for every neighborhood area in BD2 and every school within to progress their own successes. I have the privilege and first-hand knowledge of teaching at various schools to understand trends and needs …, For example, if there is a school in the Westlake area that is exceeding its standards, then how can they share that knowledge with another school, say in Highland Park who needs that extra support.
If you win, what do you hope to achieve for the LAUSD?
When I win I will focus on attracting students and parents back into our schools …
Over the past few decades, LA Unified has worked … to transform itself into the national education leader it is today. But for my peers and I who attended LAUSD schools, injustice was our reality from start to finish. Overcrowded schools were a given.
Racial unrest was rampant. Immigrant families like mine were sidelined, and pathways out of poverty felt like a privilege. However, our communities never lost the ability to love and, today, students, families, educators, and service workers after enduring this pandemic, need love – through relationships, policy, engagement, and board member representation.
Destiny Torres is a graduate student at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism pursuing a master of science degree in journalism. She earned her bachelor’s degree at CSU Dominguez Hills. She is passionate about culture and social justice issues.
Veronica Sierra is a sophomore pursuing a journalism degree at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She was born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela; and moved to California in 2015 where she continued high school, graduating in 2020.