MUHSD selects new superintendent

Atwater High School Principal Alan Peterson speaks to students during the school’s Miracles Do Happen Assembly in 2014.
Atwater High School Principal Alan Peterson speaks to students during the school’s Miracles Do Happen Assembly in 2014. Merced Sun-Star file

The Merced Union High School District has selected Alan Peterson, a longtime Merced County educator and administrator, as the district’s superintendent and will formally introduce him next month, the district announced this week.

Peterson, currently assistant superintendent, was chosen from among four finalists to succeed Scott Scambray, who left to become superintendent of Fullerton Joint Union High School district in Southern California. Retired administrator Ed Felt has filled in for the district as the interim superintendent since the August departure of Scambray, who had led MUHSD since 2008.

The board made the decision at a special meeting Thursday night. Peterson will be introduced in his new role at the Nov. 18 board meeting, contingent on contract negotiations, according to a statement made by the district.

“Alan was born and raised in Merced County,” said David Honey, the board’s president. “He understands our needs and is committed to our students, employees and community for the long term.”

Peterson, who has been in education 26 years, began his career in education as a teacher at Hilmar Unified. After becoming a vice principal in that district, he moved to MUHSD, where he served in various roles, including principal of Atwater High for more than five years.

Peterson’s pay will be determined once his contract is negotiated. He currently earns $139,615 as assistant superintendent. Scambray’s pay was $185,658 before he left.

Peterson earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Chico. He earned his teaching credential from University of the Pacific; a master’s degree in educational management from Chapman University; and a professional administrative credential from the University of La Verne.

“I am extremely grateful and honored to have been chosen to serve as the superintendent for our outstanding district,” Peterson said in a statement. “I look forward to working with staff, students and our community to build upon an already strong foundation of student achievement.”

The Merced Union High School District includes six high schools in Merced, two in Atwater, Livingston High School and the Merced Adult School.