When students at Turlock High School return to class in a few weeks, they’ll see a familiar face as the lead administrator.
Marie Peterson, who served as interim principal since January, has been selected to permanently represent THS as principal.
“I am proud and honored to be given the opportunity to lead a school with 100 plus years of blue and gold tradition with such amazing students and staff,” said Peterson.
A 1991 graduate of THS, Peterson has devoted more than a decade to the well-being of its students. She began her tenure as an English teacher in 1997 until 2001, when she became a counselor. In 2004, she accepted the position as assistant principal under Dana Trevethan.
Peterson always knew she wanted to be an educator. After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1995, Peterson returned to Turlock and began substitute teaching and coaching at THS. She said she enjoyed working with high school students and decided to enter the credential program to become a history teacher.
“My journey at THS began 26 years ago as a student and over the past 16 years I have been a teacher, counselor, and an administrator,” said Peterson. “I am very excited about the opportunity to continue working with the great students and staff at THS as their new principal.”
Former THS Principal Dana Salles Trevethan moved to the district office to take the post of Interim Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services in January and Peterson stepped up to lead in her place. Peterson not only took over administration duties, she also followed in Trevethan's footsteps representing Turlock High at the Talent Exhibition Principals Lip Sync contest in April. Peterson helped her school take first place — and a $2,000 prize — with her performance of Jenni Rivera’s classic “Cuando Muere una Dama,” and Don Omar’s dance hit single “Danza Kuduro.”
Peterson will need more than fancy dance moves and lip sync skills to successfully lead THS this fall, however.
“This year will be a time of incredible change at THS. Sixteen teachers headed to greener pastures last year and over the past few months, we have hired 22 new teachers, nearly a quarter of our teaching staff, so there will be a number of new faces on campus,” said Peterson.
“One of my main objectives will be to support these staff members as they acclimate to the site and District initiatives and expectations. Furthermore, in this transition year to Common Core State Standards, I also hope to help students, staff, and parents better understand the changes coming in 2014-2015 and lay the groundwork for this exciting sea change in education.”