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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Paso Robles Joint Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Joel Peterson

Joel Peterson

9,694 votes (20.9%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • My main focus in on student success and achievement. We need prepare our students for college, career, and community. Recruiting and retaining the best possible teachers and keeping up with technology.
  • I would like to continue to renewed emphasis on the arts we've brought to the elementary schools - providing dance, art and music for every elementary student in the district is key.
  • I would like keep our reserve at or near 10% in case of financial downturn. We don't want to return to the drastic situation we found ourselves in 7 years ago with furlough days and massive cuts. We need a plan for difficult situations.



 Joel Peterson joined Solterra Strategies in 2013 after having spent a decade working in the Paso Robles wine community. Prior to joining Solterra, he served as director of communications for Hope Family Wines, where he oversaw marketing and communications for the company’s five brands. Starting at Hope Family Wines in 2005, Peterson worked with the in-house sales and marketing team to create and develop marketing strategies and materials. In 2009, he was promoted to director of communications, where he traveled extensively, representing the winery. Peterson managed communications during a heightened period of national marketing that increased the visibility of Hope’s brands. Between 2008 and 2013, the winery launched an iPhone application, rebranded the company from Treana to Hope Family Wines, released two new brands (Candor and Troublemaker) and utilized creative videos and strategic partnerships to effectively raise both trade and consumer awareness. In 2010, Peterson’s Wine Is ... video won first place in Wine Spectator’s annual video contest.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts from the University of Arizona, Peterson moved to Los Angeles, where from 1995 through 2003, he worked in the film and television industry, working for MTV, Miramax and Crusader Entertainment. During his time in Hollywood, Peterson rose through the ranks in the physical production food chain – starting as production assistant, moving to coordinator and eventually serving as production supervisor and producer, working on over twenty-five film and television productions.

In 2001, between film productions, Peterson followed his passion for wine by getting his hands dirty working harvest at Justin Winery in Paso Robles. The experience was eye-opening and inspired him to set his sights on transitioning into a career in wine. After working on his last film in 2002, he returned to Paso Robles to work the 2003 harvest at L’Aventure Winery. His desire to live in a small community and the opportunity to work full time in the wine industry solidified the decision for Peterson and his wife, Dagny, to move to Paso Robles.

Moving to Paso was, in essence, returning to his roots. Peterson’s grandparents had moved to the area in the 1940s, and having grown up with a father whose career moved the family every two years, —from Atlanta to Baltimore, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, and Washington—the summers spent in California with his grandparents made Paso Robles the only real hometown he knew. “I’m home now,” he says.

Peterson is very active in the community and serves on the Paso Robles School Board. He has also traveled to Poland twice as president of Paso Robles’ annual Paderewski Festival, honoring virtuoso pianist, composer and politician Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Peterson was recognized as one of the Top 20 Under 40 leaders by the San Luis Obispo Tribune in 2012. In his free time Peterson enjoys running and traveling with his wife and two daughters, Kalista and Amelia.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I believe strong public schools are the bedrock of a successful community, shaping the lives of our children and preparing them for college and careers. Our district has made positive strides recently; we’ve turned the corner in making ours a district of excellence. To continue this trend, we need trustees who make informed decisions and put the student’s needs first.

In my first term I’ve brought strong leadership, helping instill constructive changes that placed our focus on student achievement. Our board was responsible for hiring a dynamic new superintendent. I’m running to serve my community, my fellow parents, and the students of Paso Robles.

I have deep roots in Paso Robles. My grandmother, Virginia Peterson, was an educator here for fifty years. I play an active role in the community: previously serving on the planning commission, currently serving on the Twin Cities Community Hospital Governing Board, and as the president of the Paderewski Festival. I’m the communications director for local marketing firm Solterra Strategies.

As a father with two daughters attending Paso Robles public schools, I am committed to enhancing the education of our students. I will continue to strive for rigorous learning experiences, reduced class sizes and extracurricular activities that form a well-rounded education.

Candidate Contact Info

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