Santa Ana College Foundation Month Year
A History of Success, A Future of Promise

Alumni Hall of Fame Inducts Four

The 2008 inductees joined the many members of the Alumni Hall of Fame.

For nearly a century and a half, Santa Ana College has supported the growth of Orange County by preparing thousands of students annually for their futures as self-reliant, productive citizens in our community. This year’s May 19th inductees into the college’s Alumni Hall of Fame have demonstrated during their careers leadership and a sense of purpose that is truly remarkable.

After a rocky start at a 4-year college, Doug Davert reconsidered his options and enrolled at Santa Ana College. He particularly credits Professor George Wright, under whom he studied both at Santa Ana College and Chapman University, with helping him focus in on what became a very successful career as an attorney and civic leader. Today a partner in the firm of Davert & Loe, which specializes in real estate, land use and business matters, Doug also serves as Judge ProTem for the Long Beach/Los Angeles Superior Courts.

Doug’s work in the legal profession is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to leadership. He has a long, continuing record of community service, both in Tustin and greater Orange County. He has held numerous offices in Tustin, including Mayor. An avid supporter of the school system in both elected and volunteer positions, Doug also serves on numerous county boards, including the Orange County Fire Authority, Airport Land Use Commission and Orange County Council of Governments.   

"Receiving this award was a tremendous honor,” says Doug. “It was nice to be recognized for my post-graduate achievements. The ceremony was very meaningful, and I enjoyed visiting the campus again after all these years. It is very rewarding to feel the sense of energy and know that many of the current students will benefit from the same jump-start to their careers that I received at SAC."

Joining Doug in the Alumni Hall of Fame is David Valentin, a Santa Ana native. Growing up in a single-parent home, David managed to overcome many challenges to build an extremely successful career in law enforcement. After earning his AA degree from Santa Ana College, he joined the Santa Ana Police Department. David was so inspired by the potential he saw in his new job that he returned to SAC to earn another AS, this time in Criminal Justice. Thus began a far-reaching 18-year career that has covered many of the major functions of the department, from Patrol Sergeant, to Gang Unit, Sexual Assault Unit, Internal Affairs Inspector and more. His current assignment is the Commander of Human Resources Division. David subsequently obtained a BA and MPA in Public Administration from Cal State Fullerton, and he is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.  

David’s commanding officers characterize him as an ambassador, linking together the diverse segments of the Santa Ana community. He has been a leader for five years in the Stay in School Program, helped a Medical Clinic Task Force address unlicensed and inadequate medical care, implemented a Parent Academy to equip families to avoid gangs and juvenile delinquency and so much more. David was also invited to participate in the 2007 and 2008 Orange County Young Men’s Conferences as an advocate for higher education. 

“Being selected to the Alumni Hall of Fame was an honor I never expected, and I am truly humbled by it,” says David. “I am grateful that I have been in a position in which I could influence our young people to stay out of gangs, take advantage of the education available to them and build positive lives.”

Like David, Hall of Fame honoree Ertuvan Kanatsiz has influenced countless numbers of young people during his 44-year career as a teacher in the Orange Unified School District, on the staff of SAC and on soccer fields across the county. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Ertuvan migrated to the United States at the age of 23. With no knowledge of English, no contacts and no money, he ended up in Santa Ana, stepping boldly forward in pursuit of his dreams. There, the generosity and kindness of strangers directed him to Santa Ana College, where he learned English, worked hard and found friends by establishing the first-ever soccer team for a community college. They had to play four-year schools in order to compete at all. After earning his AA at Santa Ana College and a BA at Cal State Long Beach, Ertuvan served as head of the Foreign Language Department for the Orange Unified School District for 22 years.

Believing that shaping the character of young people could occur outside of the classroom as well as within, Ertuvan spent countless hours coaching athletics at high schools and colleges. He taught them how to accept victory and defeat with equal grace. And then he demonstrated that you are never too young or too poor to extend a compassionate hand to someone in need. He encouraged a sense of philanthropy in his young charges, leading them in money-raising activities to benefit earthquake victims, the US Olympic team, children with leukemia and victims of gang violence. Ertuvan Kanatsiz has been a role model to his students and the community at large.

“It was very gratifying for me to share this moment with my family and friends, and reaffirm my faith in public education,” says Ertuvan. “My immediate family and my students are responsible for any success I have experienced. When my son, a former Santa Ana College Hall of Famer recipient, pinned the award on my jacket, it was a very emotional moment for me. It could not have been better. I owe everything to this country. Some who were born here may not realize the opportunity they have. My advice to them is this: Work, work hard, and the result will be there.”

Final Alumni Hall of Fame honoree Heather Ann Herbert had her career do an abrupt “about, face”, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the twin towers of New York City.

After earning her AA in political science at Santa Ana College, Heather completed her undergraduate degree at Cal Poly Pomona and then her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School, where she studied human rights under Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. She began working at PacifiCare Health Systems, but missed the public service arena. She joined the US Army Reserves, one short week before September 11. For the next six months, Heather worked Monday through Friday at PacifiCare, and spent weekends preparing wills and powers of attorney for deploying soldiers. After one year, she decided to serve our country full-time and was placed on active duty with the 3rd Infantry Division.

Heather was sent to Iraq, where she has served as Special Troops Battalion Trial Counsel and has prosecuted nine cases of court-martials.  She traveled to detainment camps to do spot check with other key officers to make sure procedures were being followed, and she assisted in the prosecution of several Iraqi terrorists. She has been awarded the Bronze Star service medal and today remains on active duty.

The 2008 Santa Ana College Foundation Hall of Fame honorees share several common attributes: a deep appreciation for their educational experience, a passion for service and an overwhelming gratitude for the opportunities they have been given. We are proud to raise them up as shining examples of the legacy of Santa Ana College.

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photo Honoring Ken Purcell
as Former Board Chairman

Concluding a very successful tenure as chairman of the SAC Foundation Board of Directors, Ken Purcell passed the gavel to incoming chairman Tony Ellis on June 30, 2008. Ken will continue his service as a member of the board, which he began in 1991. He plans to focus on building an Athletes Hall of Fame to honor the outstanding sportspersons who have kicked, putted, batted, shot and dribbled their way to success through the programs of Santa Ana College.

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