CATA Hall of Fame - Class of 2014

Del Petersen
Santa Maria High School, 1966-2005, Allan Hancock Junior College, 1971-1973

Teacher of Excellence
Honorary American Degree

Del Petersen began his teaching career in Santa Maria as an addition to a two-person department, and he remained there for 39 years. After he became department chair of the program, it grew considerably – eventually becoming a five-person program with over 550 students involved. His early adoption and use of computer technology in the program resulted in the first computer aided instructional lab in the state. He was active in CATA, where he served as a sectional and regional officer, as well as serving on statewide committees at Cow Palace and State Fair. He also inspired many students to pursue careers in agricultural education, with 15 former students receiving credentials to teach ag ed. Under his guidance, the Santa Maria program was recognized as the Western Region Outstanding Agriculture Program in 1988.