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New principal assumes command of Potter Junior High


Last updated 8/16/2007 at Noon

Potter Junior High School students arriving for their first day of the fall semester will be greeted by a new principal as Dr. Tere Peterson takes the reins of Fallbrook’s only middle school.

“I am pleased to have Tere as a member of our management team,” said Dr. Janice Schultz, Fallbrook Union High School District superintendent.

Dr. Peterson joins the elementary school district directly from Cocopah Middle School in Scottsdale, AZ, where she was principal. Prior to that, she was the principal of Grand Middle School in Escondido.

“I am so excited about being in Fallbrook,” Dr. Peterson says. “It reminds me of my hometown in Pennsylvania.”

She says she is “thrilled to walk onto a campus that puts money into its facilities” and is looking forward to inaugurating the new Potter gymnasium and quad area.

Peterson’s educational philosophy is a “perfect fit for our Potter Junior High,” says Schultz. Specifically, Peterson believes that “all kids can succeed in a safe, caring campus that is academically rigorous.”

According to James Whitlock, a district assistant superintendent, several applicants were considered for the position when former principal Lisa Denham requested a principalship in an elementary school outside the district for the coming year. The interviewing process took place over the summer and the final decision to hire Dr. Peterson was made July 26.

During a brief interview, Dr. Peterson said she is beginning to see the results of No Child Left Behind legislation in middle schools, adding that her objective is to have the “best teachers in the classroom with reasonable accountability.” Moreover, she says every teacher needs to practice “best teaching techniques,” referring to SDAIE methodology, borrowed from ELD/ESL strategies, that emphasizes making concepts understood by the learner.

When asked if she has plans for any new classes, Dr. Peterson said she would listen to parents, students and teachers before any decisions were made to “keep her finger on the pulse of the students.”

Dr. Peterson and her husband, Mark, have two grown children. Mr. Peterson is an engineer and has a consulting firm.


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