Pathway Alumni Ray Lopez To Receive NAF Award

PUSD Pathways alumni Raymundo (Ray) Lopez has been announced as this year’s NAF Alumni Award winner. Lopez is one of three NAF Alumni from across the nation to be given this award. Lopez will officially receive the award later this summer at the NAF Next summer virtual conference, which is a national gathering of educators, and business and community leaders.

“We are all very proud of Ray and his accomplishments,” says Dr. Nate Nelson, Superintendent of Porterville Unified School District. “It’s great to see our alumni giving back to our community and current Pathway students.”

Lopez works as a Deepwater Rig Engineer for BP America, Inc after graduating from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a degree in Petroleum Engineering. Lopez was successful in college because he applied and prepared himself during his time as an engineering academy student at Harmony Magnet Academy. 

During his time in high school, Lopez was exposed to numerous engineering fields throughout his four years of high school and took part in numerous leadership opportunities that prepared him for college. Ray also excelled in other curricular and extracurricular activities.

In college, Ray Lopez founded the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the first of its kind in the state of Alaska to help empower minority students in their academics. Lopez’s rigorous academic study in high school prepared him well for a challenging degree in Petroleum Engineering, where he graduated Cum Laude. 

Since graduating college, Lopez has given back to all 14 PUSD Pathways as a guest speaker at the annual Mentor Conference. Despite his busy schedule as a Deepwater Rig Engineer, Lopez has also supported Harmony and the Academy of Engineering by serving on a panel interviewing 11th grade students and providing feedback and advice. 

“Ray excelled in high school by giving it his all. I never had a doubt Ray would be successful and happy to see him be recognized,” said Harmony principal Jeff Brown, who nominated Lopez for this award.

This is just the beginning of the support that Lopez plans to our pathway students and the PUSD Pathways program is looking forward to collaborating with him for years to come. 

NAF, formerly known as the National Academy Foundation, helps to bring education, business, and community leaders together to transform the high school experience.

To learn more about the PUSD Pathways program, visit

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