Fresno County Women's Chamber of Commerce Featured Speaker:

Dr. Peter Mehas

A native of Fresno, Mehas received his bachelor's degree from Fresno State University in 1962, his master's degree from UCLA in 1967, and his doctorate in education from the University of Southern California in 1979. He was an All-American, All-Conference center in college.

Mehas began his professional career as an instructor at Roosevelt High School (Fresno Unified School District) in 1963.

He also taught at Edison High School before signing on with the Clovis Unified School District where he worked his way up from assistant principal at Clovis High (1968-69) to principal (1969-75) to assistant superintendent (1975-78) and to associate superintendent (1978-87).
From 1984 to 1987, Mehas established and served as the legislative advocate in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. for the State Center Community College District, Fresno County, and Modoc County Offices of Education and a consortium of 36 school districts throughout Central California.

In 1987, Mehas was appointed by Governor Deukmejian as his Chief Advisor on matters relating to all public education in the state, kindergarten through 12th grade, community colleges, the California State University and University of California systems and private and independent schools and universities and as the director of the Governor's Office of Education Planning and Policy Committee. His primary responsibilities were to develop policy positions for the Governor on education issues, to track legislation related to education for the Administration and to serve as liaison between the Governor's Office and the education community. He has appeared on national television's NBC "Today" and ABC "Good Morning America" representing Governor Deukmejian's view on education. In 1990, Mehas was appointed to the State Board of Education by Governor Deukmejian.

Prior to assuming his position with the Deukmejian Administration, Mehas was a member of the State Commission on Student Loan Assumption; the Department of Education's Committee on Quality Indicators of Secondary Schools, the Large Suburban School Curriculum and Legislative Committee and the State Industrial Education Council.

Mehas served on the U.S. Secretary of Education's National Advisory Committee on Accreditation and Institutional Eligibility; the Governor's California Commission on Educational Quality; the National Governor's Association Education Advisory Committee; the Constitutional Rights Foundation and state representative to the Steering Committee of the California Policy Seminar. Mehas chaired the AB 9 Task Force to develop criteria for low performing schools, was the representative (with Governor Deukmejian) to the President's Education Summit in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1989, participated in the State Superintendent of Public Instruction's Education Summit and the 1997 Presidential Summit on the Future of American’s Youth in Philadelphia and California Attorney General Daniel E. Lundgren’s Policy Council on Violence Prevention in 1994.

In September 1991, President George Bush appointed Dr. Mehas to a 17-member advisory commission to implement his executive order on Latino education. Other members of the commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans include pro-golfer, Nancy Lopez; Peter H. Coors, President of Coors Brewing Co., and Raul Yzaguirres, head of the National Council of La Raza. In 1992, Dr. Mehas was a speaker at the National Republican Convention in Houston, Texas. In 1998 Dr. Mehas was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the California Community College Board of Governors. He served as Regional Chair to Elect George W. Bush for President.

Currently, Mehas serves on the Fresno Compact Executive Board, California State University–Fresno President’s Education Commission and Dean of Education Advisory Committee, UC Advisory Board, American Hellenic Education Progressive Association, California Association County Superintendent of Schools, Valley Business Conference Executive Board, CSUF Wrestling Booster Board and Bulldog Foundation Member, President of the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame, California Consortium for Visual Arts Education Board Member, Advisory Board–Fresno Police Activities League (PALS), Phi Delta Kappa, Community Advisor for the Junior League of Fresno, Inter-Agency, Sanctuary Board, Fresno Historical Society Board, Congressman Radanovich Advisory Committee–Education Chairman, ACSA (Association of California School Administrators), YWCA Advisory Board, Marjaree Mason Center Advisory Board, Youth Fair Chance Board, and UC San Francisco Medical Education Advisory Board.

In 1990, Dr. Mehas was the recipient of the Fresno Public Education Fund's Gold Star Alumni Award, and in 1993, was the recipient of The New United Way's Annual George A. Osborne Award and the Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship. He also received the Outstanding Public Service Award for 1992 by the California Farm Bureau Federation and the California Foundation for Agriculture, USC School of Education Distinguished Lecturer, 1998 CSU Fresno School of Social Science Distinguished Alumni Award, 1999 Fresno City College Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2001, Dr. Mehas was awarded as an honorary life member in the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, was recognized as the 2001 Breaking Barriers for Children Award honoree and was named recipient of the Rose Ann Vuich Ethical Leadership Award.

Dr. Mehas holds a lifetime California Standard Secondary Teaching Credential and General Elementary Credential, as well as, a lifetime School Service Credential in General Administration.
In June 1990, Dr. Mehas was elected Fresno County Superintendent of Schools and was re-elected by a 72% margin for a second term in June 1994. In 1998 he ran unopposed for his third term. In all three elections, he had the unanimous endorsement of the Democratic and Republican legislators from the Fresno area.
Mehas and his wife, Demi, have two daughters, Alethea and Andreanna. The family resides in Fresno.