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Katie Peters retires from school she helped open

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POSTED June 1, 2013 2:20 a.m.

WESTON RANCH – New Vision High School Principal Dr. Katie Peters’ life story is the gist that best-selling books are made.

Raised by a single parent, she lived in the projects in Chicago, Illinois. She was the first one in her family to graduate from college. And she was the first African American principal in the Manteca Unified School District.

During the severe budget cuts that plagued Manteca Unified in 2008, the University of the Pacific Ph.D graduate in Educational Administration and Leadership fought, and succeeded, to keep the doors open of New Vision High, the campus that opened in 2006 with her as the first principal. But the fight to keep the then two-year-old campus off the cutting block was not without some sacrifice. Two of her staff members were laid off.

As to the most rewarding part of profession, Peters said it is “knowing I have made a difference in a student’s life and seeing my students become successful.”

It is easy to understand why. Her wise mother instilled in her the value of education since she was a little girl.

“My mother encouraged me to do well in school and taught me that education was the key to a better life and my ticket out of poverty,” Peters said.

All of the minute details relating to the above glimpses of her life could end up in the pages of a book someday. Now that she is retiring after 24 years in the education field, the English major graduate of Northern Illinois University where she received her bachelor’s degree hopes to try her hand at writing.  For now through, her eyes are set on writing fiction and not an autobiography.

But that’s just one of her immediate and long-term post-retirement plans. She also would like to satisfy her wanderlust and travel, do volunteer work, and spend more time with the grandkids.

She has a big family. She is married to Richard Terrell and is the mother of two adult sons, Kenneth and Kevin Peters; a grandmother twice over to Kenneth III and Kerrington Peters; stepmother to Wesley Terrell and Dr. Rodney Terrell, and mother-in-law to Kyra Peters.

Prior to being appointed the first principal of the continuation New Vision High School in Weston Ranch, Peters served as the principal at Lathrop Elementary School from July 2000 to January 2006, and was vice principal at Taylor Elementary School in Stockton for four years. She was also a Special Education teacher at Garfield Elementary School in Stockton Unified for four years, and taught English at Manteca High School. She likewise worked previously for San Joaquin County.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Peters went on to receive her master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Stanislaus.

Last week, a retirement celebration in Peters’ honor was held in the gymnasium of the school that she helped open six years ago in Weston Ranch.

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