Ceres Unified schools will have new superintendent. Wickham retiring, successor chosen

Ceres Unified School District Superintendent Denise Wickham will retire at the end of the school year. Amy Peterman, the district’s deputy superintendent of educational services, has been appointed to succeed her, the district said in a news release.

Wickham has been superintendent for two years, since predecessor Scott Siegel retired. She’s been in education for 33 years, 20 of them in the Ceres district. Earlier this year, the Association of California School Administrators named Wickham its Exemplary Woman in Education.

“My love for this district and appreciation for our staff, students, families, and community have made this an extremely difficult decision,” Wickham wrote in an email to district staff. “Yet after much reflection, I believe the time is right to embark on a new chapter that prioritizes my loved ones and allows me to spend more time with them.”

Peterman’s appointment and contract were approved by the Ceres Board of Education on Oct. 26. She will begin her new role as superintendent on July 1.

Peterman graduated from Ceres High School in 1991. After college, she taught in Escalon and Manteca before returning to Ceres in 2004 as an assistant principal at Ceres High School.

She also has served as principal of Sam Vaughn Elementary and Central Valley High School and was an assistant superintendent of business and educational services. Peterman has been deputy superintendent since 2021.

“It’s just a little surreal that I’m sitting here on the verge of taking this position. I am 100 percent ready to give everything I have to this district that has given so much to my family and me,” Peterman said in the news release. “I feel such a sense of pride in being given this chance to continue the legacy built by so many great leaders before me.”

Amy Peterman has been appointed to become Ceres schools superintendent in July.
Amy Peterman has been appointed to become Ceres schools superintendent in July.