There are two seats up for grabs in Davis’s school board election in November. Susan Lovenburg announced in late June that she will seek reelection, while Richard Harris said he will not.
Enter Nancy Peterson, the first non-incumbent candidate to toss her name into the hat. She announced her candidacy this weekend.
"My goals are straightforward and based on one, central philosophy: We must nurture a love of learning in every child," said Peterson in a written statement. "For a child to become a life-long learner, we need to start by creating a welcoming culture, a safe zone in which to develop. Every child should be met with high expectations, embraced by teachers and staff who believe in and work with them to maximize their potential.
Here’s a bit more about Peterson’s candidacy, according to a statement released this weekend. Let us know what you think of the upcoming election in the comments below.
"As a mother, it is very gratifying to watch my children learn and grow in a community that cares so much about education, but many Davis families face significant hardships. No child is less deserving than my own or anyone else’s. Children who struggle are a priority for me."
Peterson's resume is extensive. She is Past President of the Davis Senior High School Blue and White Foundation and, for the past 7 years, a board member of Davis Bridge Foundation. She served 8 years on school site councils (5 for Montgomery Elementary and 3 for Harper Junior High (5 of those years as President/Chair), 7 years on the Superintendent's Parent Advisory Committee, 2 years on the Local Education Action Plan District Committee, and 2 years with the Targeted Assistance Group.
"For over a decade, I've had the opportunity to participate in many meaningful pursuits for children and youth in Davis. Working from the ground up has given me deep insight into what our district does right, and what could be improved," explained Peterson.
"We must guarantee equitable division of resources among the schools," said Peterson. "For example, district-wide standards should be set for services. Parents should not have to shop for a school to ensure their child receives what they need for basic academic achievement."
Peterson also expressed a growing concern for students in the middle.
"A principal once told me, 'It's hard to be average in Davis.' We often hear about the student on either end of academic achievement, but there is a large population of students in between. Supporting students as individuals is the job of the public school system. When each student is motivated and engaged, all students do better.
"Children are inspired by their own unique interests--it may be a single subject or an extracurricular activity. Unfortunately, it is these very areas that often divide the community and pit well-intended people against one another. The key is to support and nurture whatever passion keeps each child engaged and moving forward.”
Peterson earned her AB in Biology from Princeton, her MS in Physical Therapy from Columbia, and her PhD in Neuroscience from Yeshiva University. She is the mother of three children currently enrolled in DJUSD. Her husband, Rob Peterson, is an orthopedic surgeon and is the volunteer team doctor for DHS Football.