Dempsie wins NAF Advisory Champion Award

Retired Tulare County Assistant District Attorney Robert Dempsie has received national recognition for his work with the Granite Hills High School Law, Justice and Ethics Pathway advisory board.

Dempsie has been honored with the prestigious NAF Advisory Board Champion award. NAF, formerly known as the National Academy Foundation, a national organization that brings education and business together to make students college and career ready.

Dempsie will be presented the award at the NAF Next conference in Kissimmee, Fla., in July.

“It is with great pride that we celebrate Robert Dempsie as the NAF Advisory Champion of the

Year,” Porterville Unified School District superintendent Nate Nelson said. “Robert's commitment to PUSD students, particularly in the Academy of Law, Justice, and Ethics, has been exemplary. Over the past decade, he has tirelessly worked to bridge the gap between academic learning and real-world application. His efforts have enriched the lives of countless students, providing them with invaluable experiences and insights that prepare them for successful careers and responsible citizenship.

Over his 10-year tenure, Dempsie’s has been known for his hands-on leadership. His approach extends beyond the boardroom as he regularly engages with students to understand their needs and aspirations. His efforts to enhance career readiness include assisting students with resume building and conducting mock interviews, which have built students' confidence and provided them with essential skills for future success.

Dempsie’s dedication to learning experiences is evident through his participation in out-of-town field trips, such as visits to the Police museum at Cal State Los Angeles. A standout achievement for Dempsie has been the establishment of the Mock Trial team, which led to securing the County Mock Trial Finals at the Granite Hills High School on-campus courtroom, providing students with a unique platform to showcase their legal skills.

He has also been pivotal in pioneering Project Steno, a program that teaches stenography, one of the first programs of its kind in California. Moreover, his efforts in establishing connections with key industry players, including the Central California Family Crisis Center, the Tulare County District Attorney and Public Defenders offices have provided students with invaluable insights, networking opportunities, and internships.

“Robert Dempsie’s passion for the program and dedication to student success are truly

transformative,” said LJE Pathway lead teacher Jane Kisling, “This award is a well-

deserved recognition of his impact.”

Dempsie’s instrumental role in shaping student success is further demonstrated through initiatives like the freshman “Meet-and-Greet” between students and the Advisory Board, which has been adopted district-wide. He also annually attends NAF Next conferences and contributes to the new Law curriculum showcase.

“Robert is a true ambassador for education and public service, and his recognition is a testament to his extraordinary contributions and commitment to our community,” Nelson said.

For more information about NAF and its initiatives, visit To learn more about the

PUSD Pathways program, visit Source: Porterville Recorder