Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dr. Juan Francisco Lara, 2011 Community Grand Marshal

Juan Francisco Lara is a second generation Mexican American San Franciscan and a Pasadena resident since 1972. His wife Joanne was a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a PUSD Teacher. They have a son, Ankarino, a daughter, Kiela, and three grandchildren Leotei, Kalyxtomar and Eisling. Lara’s career began in 1965. It's been one of teaching, mentoring, scholarship program development, curriculum and teacher professional development, public educational and community service, and the pursuit of access and equity to higher education for underrepresented racial and ethnic minority students.

He taught, coached baseball and theatre at De La Salle and taught at Cathedral HS when he was a Christian Brother. He also taught at Compton, East LA and Pasadena CC’s, the UCLA and Claremont Graduate Schools of Education and the UCI School of Social Science.

Lara received a Ph.D. from UCLA, an MAT from Occidental College, and a BA in English from St. Mary’s College. He was a CORO and National Council of La Raza Fellow and a Tomas Rivera Center Scholar.

For 35 years he served the University of California. At UCLA, he held positions of Dean; Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean for the UCLA Graduate School of Education; Assistant Provost, College of Letters and Science; EOP and Academic Advancement Program Director and Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, and he created a Center for Academic Programs that provided academic professional development for K-12 and community college teachers.

He is Assistant Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Enrollment Services at UC Irvine and founding executive director of the UCI Center for Educational Partnerships. He served on the Compton, Santa Ana and Pasadena CC Foundation Boards, and was Chair of the OC United Way Education Impact Council. Locally he has served on the Boards for the Brigden Ranch Neighbors Assn, Five Acres, Journey House, Project Day-Juvenile Diversion Project, the PCC Foundation, Pasadena Scholarship Committee and the City of Pasadena Charter Commission and Resource Allocation Board.
Beyond all this, Dr. Lara is always willing to lend a hand to those who might benefit from his stentorian voice, his academic or administrative knowledge, or a kind gesture that comes from his grand heart. Many have benefitted from his generous gifts of dedication and wisdom.

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