Experienced leader of alternative education tapped to be next special education director

An experienced educator with an extensive background in alternative and special education programs has been selected to serve as the Irvine Unified School District’s next director of special education, Superintendent Terry L. Walker announced Thursday.

Mark G. Miller, who currently oversees Creekside and San Joaquin high schools as the district’s director of alternative education, will succeed Mary Bevernick, who has announced plans to retire later this year. Pending approval by the IUSD Board of Education, Miller will begin on July 1.

“We could not be more excited to secure a leader of this caliber for such a critical role,” Superintendent Walker said. “Mark embodies each of our district’s core values. He is a highly collaborative leader with great integrity, committed to working closely with the educators in our organization and the parents of our community to meet the needs of each student.”

“Mark also has a breadth and depth of experience that few can match,” Walker said. “Not only has he led a model alternative education program, he has developed and implemented core curriculum for students with special needs and assisted with the opening of a new high school.”

Indeed, Miller began his career as a special education teacher in 1998 at La Costa Canyon High School in the San Dieguito Union High School District. He continued in that capacity at San Clemente High in the Capistrano Unified School District from 2004 to 2006, and two years later he was tapped to help open CUSD’s San Juan Hills High School, where he served as special education department chair, athletic director and, ultimately, assistant principal.

In 2008, he joined IUSD as Irvine High’s assistant principal, and he was hired as the district’s director of alternative education in 2010.

“I am incredibly honored to be selected to lead this district’s efforts to provide the highest quality education for students with special needs,” Miller said Thursday. “Most of all, I cannot wait to begin engaging with parents, students and staff as we pursue this meaningful work.”

A resident of San Clemente, Miller is married with three children. He holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Chapman University and a master’s degree in education with a concentration in special education from San Diego State University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from University of the Pacific.