Helping students on their Educational path |

Helping students on their Educational path

As an educator, Dave Peterson has a simple goal: To help students understand who they are, where they want to go and help them get there.

The 38-year-old Peterson, pictured above, is the new dean of academic affairs at Bitney College Prep High School on Ridge Road in Grass Valley. He was formerly a guidance counselor at Camptonville Academy in Nevada City.

“My role here is to be a resource for students and parents,” Peterson said. “My second role… is to serve students and allow them to be successful and plan for whatever direction they are heading in.”

Peterson moved to Nevada County in 1994. He was born in Los Angeles and raised in Southern California and the Bay Area. He has a master’s degree in educational counseling from the University of San Francisco.

“We were looking for someone with a background and experience with schools and high school students,” Marshall Goldberg, principal of Bitney College Prep High School, said. “We wanted someone with experience in guidance counseling and a strong background in career and college options.”

As the dean of academic affairs, Peterson will “work with students to craft their class schedules,” Goldberg said. “He is also involved in their graduation plans. In addition, he looks at all the procedures for their enrollment in colleges. He works with students who want to take Sierra College classes while still in high school.”

Bruce Herring, the former academic dean of Bitney, has resumed teaching and is now an instructor of economics and music, Goldberg said.

The biggest challenges of Peterson’s job include addressing the individual needs of every student and doing a full-time job in a half-time schedule, Peterson said.

Peterson’s hobbies include tennis, skiing, carpentry and playing with his sons.

Peterson lives in Nevada City on a 28-acre property with his wife, Sally, who’s an artist, and sons, Ryley, 7, and Bodhi, 3. The family owns two mutts, a cat and chicken, and are in the process of starting a berry farm.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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