Suzanne McCulloch Retires; Music Teacher Peter Gidlund to Lead Visual & Performing Arts Program
For fourteen years under the leadership of Suzanne McCulloch, our district-wide music program and visual and performing arts education programs have improved and expanded. During her 22 years in the Berkeley schools, McCulloch served first as a teacher, and then as program supervisor for Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Department. As an advocate and champion of the arts, and through her work coordinating and supervising the BSEP-funded music program, Suzanne has had a positive impact on every Berkeley student’s education.
McCulloch leaves the music and vibrant visual and performing arts programs in our district in very good hands. After working in the music program with McCulloch over the last four years, music teacher extraordinaire Peter Gidlund will now be stepping into the job as program supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts in our district.
McCulloch describes Gidlund as, “a highly-motivated self-starter. He has a vision for growing the arts programs in BUSD and understands the importance of the BSEP special tax in fulfilling this vision. He easily networks with representatives of arts organizations and will work tirelessly to bring equitable arts opportunities to Berkeley students…He is well-respected by his colleagues for his fairness and ability to bring people together around a common goal and will adeptly supervise and evaluates teachers. I feel confident that Peter Gidlund is the best choice to follow me as the Program Supervisor for Visual and Performing Arts.”
Bio: Peter Gidlund
Peter Gidlunds’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Cal State, Hayward (now Cal State East Bay). His teaching career began in 2000 in San Lorenzo where he taught middle school for three years. He was then hired by former Longfellow Principal Rebecca Cheung. At Longfellow, Gidlund taught math, science and music from 2003-11, and has more recently also taught music at Berkeley High School.