Four Valley educators will be honored at the annual Kremen Noted Alumni Dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 17 at Fresno State.

The Kremen School of Education and Human Development Alumni and Friends Chapter will honor these alumni in the University Dining Hall on campus:

  • Robert Aguilar, superintendent (retired) and educatorDelano Union School District;
  • Kim Mecum, chief academic officer – Fresno Unified School District;
  • Pauline Sahakian, director – University of California, Merced Writing Project;
  • Richard Kinney, science teacher – Buchanan High School, Clovis Unified School District

“We selected these individuals for their significant contributions and passion for education,” said Jim Yovino, president of the Kremen Alumni chapter of the Fresno State Alumni Association. “Each honoree is clearly outstanding and deserving of this recognition.”

The banquet is open to the public. Tickets are $40 and available at the Kremen School’s Office of the Dean, 559.278.0215.

2016 Kremen noted alumni:

Dr. Robert Aguilar’s appointment in 2007 as superintendent of the Delano Union School District was a homecoming for the educational leader, who was a student there in the 1950s and a teacher in the 1960s. Under his leadership, the district opened a new education complex, expanded learning programs and received state recognition for academic achievement.

Aguilar, who was a recipient of the 2015 Top Dog Alumni Award for the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, currently serves as a Kremen School Community Council member and is a driving force behind an initiative to create a teacher pipeline between Fresno State and the South Valley.

Kim Mecum, chief academic officer for the Fresno Unified School District, traces the roots of her journey to executive leadership to her experience in both competitive sports and academics. The Fresno State alumna began her career as a teacher and softball coach in the Central Valley and credits much of her success to being coached by Margie Wright on Fresno State’s softball team.

Mecum has worked for Fresno Unified since 1996, rising up the ranks and distinguishing herself as a leader. After a decade serving as associate superintendent of Human Resources and Labor Relations, she was appointed to her current role in 2014, where works with the University on many projects and grants including the Fresno Teacher Residency program, which prepares 300 new teachers in a partnership with the Kremen School.

Dr. Pauline Sahakian was born and raised in Fresno and double majored in English and drama at Fresno State. After earning a secondary teaching credential, she began a 33 year teaching career with Clovis Unified School District. Three times during her teaching career, Sahakian returned to Fresno State, first as a fellow in the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project, then for a master’s degree in English, and ultimately to earn a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Today she continues to train teachers as the founding director of the UC Merced Writing Project, a position she has held since September 2000. She also taught freshman composition at Fresno State and content area literacy for single subject credential candidates in the Kremen School.

Richard Kinney loves teaching science and earned both his bachelor’s degree and teaching credential from Fresno State. He has worked for Clovis Unified School District since 1987, where he currently teaches, mentors, coaches and leads “all things science.” He has taken his passion for science to Kastner Intermediate, Alta Sierra Intermediate, Reyburn Intermediate and Buchanan High School, where he currently teaches science, energy technology, and chemistry. He is also robotics team mentor, Science Olympiad assistant coach, and coordinator of the Buchanan Energy Academy and Environmental Research Center. Buchanan was one of 19 schools chosen to participate in the Solar Suitcase Project. Under Kinney’s leadership, students will assemble portable solar panel and battery units that will end up in orphanages and health clinics in Kenya.