Your name(s): Lisa Joseph and Ellen Peterson
Your bios: Lisa Joseph and Ellen Peterson are two of The Women’s Fund’s newest members, and are a mother/daughter team. Both were born and raised in Redding, and still live and work in the community.
Lisa started her career at Sequoia Middle School in 1988, as an eighth-grade English teacher. She was asked to teach a special program for at-risk youth, then known as the V.I.S.I.O.N.S program, an acronym for Viable Instructional Strategies and Integrated Opportunities for Notable Students. Students in the program transitioned in and out of group homes and juvenile hall. The program included the support of a full-time probation officer, counselor and paraprofessional who assisted in the classroom.
Lisa later taught eighth-grade language arts and social studies in the at-risk youth class, G.A.T.E., at Sequoia for eight years and worked as a drama/performing arts teacher. She is proud to see some of her former students, including Brent Weaver and Ryan Denham, as visible and successful members of the community.
Lisa also taught at Cedar Meadows Elementary, the current Redding School District office, for two years as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher and was part of a group of educators who helped to pass the bond that would later provide funds to build Turtle Bay School. She was one of the original nine teachers on the Turtle Bay School bond and building committee to begin teaching at the school in 1997, where she then taught kindergarten for 16 years. She said she loved it whenever she got a student of a student she had taught.
Lisa now serves as the dean of students in the Cascade Union Elementary School District in Anderson. As dean, she serves in many capacities, but mainly to support site administrators with schoolwide discipline, school climate and school safety. Two of her former students work in the district alongside her — one as a classroom paraprofessional, and one as the district IT department head.
She is the proud mother of Ellen Peterson, a registered nurse at Shasta Regional Medical Center; and Madeline and Claire, her 23-year-old twins who are in their final semesters at California State University Chico and University of Nevada, Reno, respectively.
Her husband, Santosh, is a software engineer of 18 years and works for Groupon, based in Palo Alto and Chicago. Previous to Groupon, he worked at Oracle Corp in Chicago and for a small start-up in Chicago, called VHT (Video Home Tours).
Lisa has some great things to say about The Women’s Fund of Redding and why she joined.
“My job often brings me face to face with the struggles of some of our socioeconomically disadvantaged families,” she said. “Denise (Yergenson) invited me to attend a Women’s Fund membership event, and I knew that this was a way I could contribute — through collective philanthropy. There is power in numbers, and the empowerment this organization brings to women in need in our community is truly inspiring.”
The second half of this dynamic mother/daughter duo, Ellen, represents the fund’s up-and-coming younger generation of successful Redding residents. She was born in Redding and attended Turtle Bay, Sequoia Middle School and is a 2008 graduate of Shasta High School. She began her love and studies of medicine in the medical careers program at Shasta High School and went on to earn her nursing degrees at Shasta College, College of the Siskiyous and Institute of Technology. She just completed her critical care registered nursing certificate and is starting work on her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Chico State. She works in the ICU unit at Shasta Regional Medical Center and is also on staff at Copper Ridge Residential Care.
In addition to her membership in The Women’s Fund, Ellen has volunteered at Mercy Medical Center and Blood Source. In her free time, she enjoys all things outdoors with her faithful companion, Peanut, a rescue dog.
Ellen joined TWF to be a part of an organization that empowers women and betters the Redding community.