After voting on the partisan races and the propositions, don't forget Austin Community College, where we have the chance to add an excellent trustee ["Nov. 6 Elections: The 'Chronicle' Endorsements
," News, Oct. 19]. Brig Mireles has lived the life we hope that many of the people ACC most serves can achieve – he put himself through college on the GI Bill, built a career that let him give his children better opportunities, gave back by organizing scholarships for students and serving two school board terms, and kept in touch with college instruction by teaching an ACC course.
Mireles has shown a capacity for listening to the community and an awareness of how board decisions affect the classroom that will help ACC reach its full potential. The 12-year incumbent running against him for Place 7 is a knowledgeable university administrator active in speaking for ACC to the community, but she has been dismissive of community criticism and suggestions for improvement. Mireles will be much better at speaking for the community to ACC, which is the main thing that a trustee should be doing. ACC's greatest strength is that Austin's culture celebrates intelligence, making it a good place for people to teach and learn. ACC's greatest danger is complacency: With its low tuition, it will never have trouble getting people to "start here," but it needs to do a better job at ensuring that its students "get there," even when their life situations are challenging.
To do this, ACC needs to pay closer attention to the students, employees, and community supporters who have been the basis of its growth over recent decades. Brig Mireles will help it do that.