Trustee's son hired as Riverbank coach, wife gets Turlock High post

naustin@modbee.comAugust 7, 2013 

    alternate textNan Austin
    Title: Education reporter
    Coverage areas: K-12 education, Yosemite Community College District
    Bio: Nan Austin has been a copy editor and reporter at The Modesto Bee for 24 years. She has an economics degree from CSU Stanislaus and previously worked at the Merced Sun-Star and Turlock Journal.
    Recent stories written by Nan
    On Twitter: @nanaustin

— After an earlier effort failed to pass, the Riverbank Unified School District board hired Trustee Ron Peterson's son as an assistant football coach.

The vote Tuesday was 3-0, with Peterson abstaining and trustee Steve Walker absent, to hire Kirk Peterson as offensive coordinator for the Riverbank High varsity football team.

Reached Wednesday, Kirk Peterson said the vote was tense, with Trustee John Mitchell initially abstaining. After another board member asked him to reconsider, Mitchell voted yes, then abruptly left the meeting.

Kirk Peterson, a Stanislaus County Office of Education teacher who works with visually impaired students, has been volunteering with the team. Community members rallied behind him and applauded the board decision Tuesday.

While Kirk Peterson sat at the Riverbank board meeting, his wife, Marie Peterson, waited at the Turlock Unified School District board meeting for confirmation of her appointment.

She, too, got a thumbs-up Tuesday, and will take the reins as principal of Turlock High after serving much of the past school year as interim principal.

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at or (209) 578-2339, on Twitter, @NanAustin,

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