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Victor Martin is the new director of development for the CSUB Foundation.

Cal State Bakersfield's Office of University Advancement has named Victor Martin as the CSUB Foundation's new director of development. He started Monday.

Martin will be a central fundraising leader at the university. He's to cultivate, solicit and steward major gift donors to CSUB, specifically in the schools of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering, and Arts and Humanities, as well as the Walter Stiern Library.

Reporting to David Melendez, vice president of University Advancement, Martin will work with deans, faculty and university administrators to develop fundraising plans for school and community initiatives, the university said.

"His exemplary track record, both in this community and throughout his career, is rich with experience that will make the university a greater resource for the community," Melendez said in a statement Thursday.

Martin was most recently director of development for the San Joaquin Community Hospital Foundation, where he conducted a capital campaign that exceeded its $5 million goal.

"I joined CSUB because I believe in the transformative power of education," Martin said in a statement. "Education is an incredible gift and attending a university is one of the best ways we, as people, can enhance every aspect of our lives. I think we are in a perfect position to do great things here at CSUB through philanthropy."

Melendez took over as vice president of university advancement and executive director of the CSUB Foundation last August. He almost immediately started cleaning house, booting out Bart Hill and Patty Keefer at the beginning of this year. Hill was director of development for major gifts. Keefer was development officer for major gifts.

Hill had come to the university from San Joaquin Bank, where he was CEO until regulators closed it citing inadequate capital and liquidity.

The Paramount Academy Board of Directors Thursday announced the appointment of Saul Gonzalez as the school's new executive director, effective July 1.

Gonzalez has more than 20 years of experience in education, including 12 in senior leadership positions. He is currently the assistant superintendent of the Delano Joint Union High School District. He previously served for seven years as principal at Delano's Cesar E. Chavez High School.

Under Gonzalez's leadership, Cesar E. Chavez High School increased its California Academic Performance Index (API) scores by nearly 300 points (from 550 to 848), making it the highest-ranking high school in the area. Gonzalez also helped increase student pass rates on the California High School Exit Exam by 30 percent in math and 37 percent in English language arts.

"Mr. Gonzalez has a passion for education and a proven ability to inspire creative ideas and build a vibrant culture of high expectations, innovation, and success," said Noemi Donoso, vice president, Paramount Academy Board of Directors, in a statement released Thursday. "As a native of the Delano/McFarland area who was born to farmworker parents and locally educated, he has invaluable familiarity with the community. Saul is uniquely qualified to meet the needs of our students."

Paramount Academy has also appointed Jamon Peariso as its new director of teaching and learning. He comes from Delano's Robert F. Kennedy High School, a school that raised its API scores by nearly 100 points during Peariso's tenure.

The Paramount Agricultural Companies and owners Stewart and Lynda Resnick founded Paramount Academy four years ago. This month, the school graduated its first senior class.

-- Courtenay Edelhart, Californian staff

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