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Mary Peterson

As a Senior Program Associate for WestEd’s Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) and West Comprehensive Center, Mary Peterson provides technical assistance to state departments of education.

Through her work with the West Comprehensive Center at WestEd, Peterson helps state education agencies (SEAs) implement various requirements of state and federal laws. She has worked with SEA staff in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah to design and implement their respective statewide systems of support for schools and districts.

In addition, she co-leads the Nevada Education Research Alliance and serves as liaison to the State of Nevada for REL West.

Prior to joining WestEd in 2006, Peterson was Statewide Director of Teacher Education, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dean of Faculty at Sierra Nevada College. From 1994 through 2000, she served as Nevada’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Peterson has served on the Board of Directors of the Council of Chief State School Officers and WestEd. She also was a State Commissioner to the Education Commission of the States.

She began her career teaching junior and senior high school English, and was principal of a small, private K-8 school in rural Idaho.

Peterson received a BA in English from Carleton College and an MA in teaching from Duke University. Her education also includes doctoral studies in cultural foundations of education/educational administration from the University of Utah, where she was inducted into the graduate Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.