Sunday, January 25, 2015

Peterson stresses broad background, experience dealing with challenges

Nancy Peterson, a candidate for the Davis Board of Education, chats with a voter at a recent Davis Farmers Market. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

From page A1 | October 04, 2012 |

* Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of five stories profiling candidates in the Davis Board of Education race.

Parent and activist Nancy Peterson says she brings a portfolio of experience to bear as she seeks a seat on the Davis school board in the Nov. 6 election.

Peterson has had children at Montgomery Elementary in South Davis for 12 years — from the time the school opened. In 2009-10, Montgomery became the first campus in the Davis school district to enter Program Improvement status under the widely disliked federal No Child Left Behind legislation.

Birch Lane Elementary entered PI status in 2011-12, and several other Davis schools may follow suit this month as it becomes increasingly impossible to comply with the law’s requirement of 100 percent student proficiency in math and English by 2014.

Peterson does not offer an evaluation of the merits of the federal law. But she does say her experience at a school that has dealt with it would be an asset on the school board.

“And I would bring to the board the impact of a changing socioeconomic picture at a school, and how fluid we sometimes need to be as a school, in order to deal with a changing population,” Peterson added.

She emphasized that there are several avenues that support academic success.

“The goal is to produce students who become lifelong learners,” Peterson said. “One of the very important things to consider is what drives children to become successful. Children have have their own unique interests, and we need to foster those interests by keeping programs like music or athletics strong. Kids need these varied interests to stay engaged at school.”

Peterson — who has one child at Montgomery, another in the Da Vinci Charter Academy program at Emerson Junior High and a third at Davis High — added that “we need to look at things as a whole district. No program exists in isolation, and a decision (about a program) doesn’t happen in isolation. There’s a domino effect. We need to look at things in terms of all the children, not just certain special interests.

“As a district, we often look at children (who are performing) below grade level, and then we talk about GATE (Gifted and Talented Education). But there is this whole large group that exists between those two groups,” she continued. “We need to make sure that those children are also part of our planning and program decision-making — that we engage all of those children as well.

“One thing we need to focus on is the junior high school program. It tends to get lost in between the very engaged elementary school communities and the high school community. The junior highs get left in the middle. But a lot of what happens at junior high leads to high school.”

Peterson also points to her diverse background as a participant and leader in groups that support the school district.

“I was on the Site Council for five years at Montgomery Elementary, and three years at Harper Junior High,” she said. “I have been on the board of the Davis Bridge Foundation for seven years.” The foundation’s mission is to “strive to make college and academic success a realistic option and goal for all Davis students, regardless of income, race or ethnicity.”

Peterson also has been on the board of the Davis High School Blue & White Foundation, which helped raise money to build a new stadium, among other goals, and has been a supporter of the Davis Junior Blue Devils.

“I know the difficulties with fundraising and working on facility issues,” Peterson said. “The new stadium at Davis High has made a huge difference at the school and in the community — having a first-class track and playing field.”

Peterson said she would also look to look at Davis High’s course offerings in career technical education. “Are we reaching enough children?” she asked. “Are there enough courses available for students who are more drawn to CTE and ROP-type classes” as compared with programs for students whose goal is a four-year college?

Peterson grew up in the New York City metropolitan area, where she attended public schools. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Princeton University, a master’s degree in physical therapy from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Yeshiva University.

Her husband, Rob Peterson, is an orthopedic surgeon. The Peterson family has lived in Davis since 1998.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at or 530-747-8055.



  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Red Cross honors community heroes

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    Words and Music Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12



    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

    Family isn’t keen on relationship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11



    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8







    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9



    Thomas George Byrne

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8