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Better student counseling needed, Mirisola says

He supports a higher parcel tax to help avoid 'difficult decisions.'

October 23, 2013|By Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com
  • Ian Mirisola, LCUSD school board candidate. Photographed on Friday, October 11, 2013.
Ian Mirisola, LCUSD school board candidate. Photographed… (Roger Wilson / Staff…)

After graduating from a top Ivy League school — Harvard University — Ian Mirisola has returned to La Cañada Flintridge with a goal of improving his hometown’s public school district. He is running for one of three open seats on the La Cañada school board on Nov. 5.

The 23-year-old attended Palm Crest Elementary School and La Cañada High School. Mirisola sat down with the Valley Sun in his home to chat about his campaign.

Valley Sun: Why did you choose to come back to La Cañada? What are your plans?

Mirisola: I really like this community and I wanted to take a break here before I went to law school.

I’m applying to law schools in November and December. If I get [a seat on the board], it would obviously weigh me more toward staying in California.

What is your motivation for running?

I thought it would be a great way to serve my community. It’s a community that I love. I’ve grown up in it; gone through all the schools. I’ve seen first-hand what the education system is like. I thought, maybe I’ll make a difference on the board.

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If elected, is there an issue you’d bring to the board?

There are a few issues that I see as room for improvement for the schools in general.

The college counseling [at the high school] was an issue for me. I would not have been able to go to Harvard if it wasn’t my own will power and resolve to get everything turned in on time.

No matter how much I told [college counselors] that I needed a transcript to be submitted in two weeks, they were like, no, they don’t need that, they don’t do early admission. They were thinking that I didn’t know what I was talking about, that my parents didn’t know what I was talking about. I told them that I needed this transcript to apply for a likely letter, which is what I ended up getting from Harvard. I knew in November of my senior year of high school that I was going to Harvard.

I had to tell them to give me the transcript and then fax it myself from my house. So it was an ordeal.

The push to get everyone in college might be pushing those trying to achieve higher to set their sights lower, in my opinion. In my case, it was an issue.

Do you think college counselors need to offer more support?

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