Peterson named Thomas Page principal
Parents at Cotati school upset about CRPUSD changing principals again
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By Dave Williams  April 18, 2014 12:00 am

Teresa Peterson has been recommended to be the new principal at Thomas Page Academy in Cotati, effective with the 2014-15 school year.

Pending ratification of Superintendent Robert Haley’s recommendation by the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District Board of Trustees, Peterson will become the seventh principal in five years at the only Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District school located in Cotati. 

The next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on May 13 at Mountain Shadows Educational Center.

Peterson completed her undergraduate studies at Sonoma State University and later earned her administrative credential there as well. She lives in Rohnert Park and is an involved and active community member. She has been a teacher in the district since 1999, serving first at Waldo Rohnert Elementary School before moving to Thomas Page Academy in 2008. She was Teacher-in-Charge at both schools.

Haley, in a press release, said, Peterson “is a dedicated educator who is passionate about her profession. She has strong ties to Thomas Page Academy and is honored to have the opportunity to lead the school.”

Thomas Page Academy serves kindergarten through eighth grade students in Cotati.

“I don’t know if there’ll be changes,” Peterson said. “I’ll work with the staff as a whole to see how we go forward.”

Some parents of Thomas Page students are none too pleased about changing principals again. The current principal, Amie Carter, will be moving to be principal at Rancho Cotate High next fall. Rancho Cotate’s current principal, Robert Steffen, will take the same position next fall at Technology High in Rohnert Park. Haley currently is serving dual roles as superintendent at Technology High principal.

This particular change, however, has touched a nerve in some parents.

“It’s been awful,” said Amy Pamatmat, whose son is in sixth grade. “Each principal new plan for school. With every new principal, it’s a different way of dealing with discipline. It’s hard on teachers to go through a new way of doing things every year.”

Pamatmat said she and other parents have met with Haley on three occasions to discuss the principal situation and were told they were recruiting a principal (Carter) to stay at Thomas Page on a long-term basis to bring stability to the school.

“It’s a slap in the face,” she said. “I know of five families that have moved out of the district. They’re either going to Dunham or Penngrove. My son will not be at Thomas Page next year. He’ll be in the Expeditionary Learning program at Lawrence Jones. Unfortunately, it’s still in this district and I can’t transport my child. I’ll do my best to find a more stable situation for him.”

Mindy McKeon, executive secretary of the superintendent’s office, Carter and Peterson all disagree with Pamatmat’s assertions.

“I’m on campus, and I haven’t heard any complaints from any parents,” Carter said. “They’re sad to see me go, and Ms. Peterson’s selection represents stability.

Peterson said she believes she can provide the stability that is perceived to be lacking because she’s been at the school since 2008.

“I think I’m best fit because I know all students and families. I know staff and love this site,” Peterson said. “The nice thing is I know all the kids. Ones in eighth grade I had in second grade. I plan on not leaving. This is my home. I’m looking forward to leading the site on for the next years.”

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