University of San Diego to Honor Five Remarkable Leaders in Education

SAN DIEGO, CA—Educators who have made a significant leadership impact in the field of education will be honored at the Remarkable Leaders in Education awards ceremony. The University of San Diego’s (USD) School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) will host the ceremony at 11:30 am on Saturday, November 8, 2014 in USD’s Warren Auditorium. Tickets are $35.00, and all funds go to support student scholarships at SOLES.

Nominated by members of the community, recipients are selected for their leadership in education, special education, counseling, child development or educational reform in San Diego or Imperial Counties. The 2014 recipients are Hugh Mehan, PhD; Beatriz Villarreal, EdD; Harry C. Weinberg, EdD; Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, PhD; and Christopher Yanov, MA.


Hugh Mehan is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Education at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and founding director of the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Access, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE). He has helped build equitable educational environments at The Preuss School, Gompers Preparatory Academy, and Groundwork San Diego in Southeastern San Diego.

Beatriz Villarreal has spent more than 27 years working with the Latino community providing educational workshops, counseling, community resources, and information about gangs, drug/alcohol abuse, and violence for the prevention of juvenile delinquency. Villarreal also served for eight years as the director of a counseling program at San Diego’s Juvenile Hall. She founded the Mano a Mano Foundation, has developed and produced many educational videos and has organized workshops to inform the community of juvenile delinquency and gang prevention both in the United States and in Mexico.

Harry C. Weinberg served as the Superintendent of the San Diego County Office of Education. He has been a basketball coach, vice principal, assistant principal, assistant superintendent, faculty member, and Superintendent and he is one of three founding partners of Leadership Associates. In all of his many leadership roles, Weinberg has been known for mentoring educators throughout the state and nation, helping leaders to plan for the next steps in their careers and to tackle difficult issues.

Sharon Whitehurst-Payne created a teacher internship program that increased the diversity of teachers in San Diego classrooms. Many of the interns developed into stars in the district, serving as teachers, principals, and district administrators.

Christopher Yanov founded Reality Changers in May 2001. The program has provided academic support, financial assistance and leadership training to disadvantaged youth, and its students have earned more than $60,000,000 in scholarships. Yanov currently sits on the Tijuana Innovadora Binational Committee, the University of San Diego’s Emerging Leaders Council, the Voice of San Diego Member Council, and the Federal Employees Scholarship Foundation.

Additional information on the honorees and the Remarkable Leaders program, and to purchase tickets, please visit us at

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.