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Board of Education:Meet our Board Members

Curious as to which Board Member represents you? See a PDF map of the regions.

Joan Gardner

Joan Gardner headshotPresident
Term: 2014–2018, Region 2 | 760.489.2663

Joan has lived in Escondido since 1983 and has served on EUSD’s Board of Education continuously since first being elected in 1998.

She is a retired small business owner and the mother of five sons.

Zesty Harper

Zesty Harper headshotVice President
Term: 2014-2018, Region 4 | 442.777.2052

Zesty was born and raised in Escondido. She attended California State University, San Marcos, where she graduated with a Bachelors in Liberal Arts and received her teaching credential. Zesty taught 5th and 6th grade in Escondido and worked one-on-one with under-served youth in the community.

Zesty has a passion for working to ensure that all Escondido students receive a quality public education. Zesty is married to her husband, John, and is mom to Aubrey, Lilly, and Penny. When not attending EUSD functions, you can probably find Zesty at the softball fields cheering on her daughters.

Dr. Gary M. Altenburg

Dr. Gary M. Altenburg headshotClerk
Term: 2014–2018, Region 5 | 760.975.1657

Dr. Altenburg is an endodontist in private practice in Murrieta. He received his dental degree from Northwestern University. He completed a General Practice Residency at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in La Jolla, and his endodontic residency at Temple University.  He is a native Southern Californian and was raised in Vista. Gary is married to his wife, Debbie, and they have three children attending school in Escondido.

Paulette Donnellon

Paulette Donnellon headshotMember
Term: 2012–2016, Region 3 | 760.420.2472

Paulette has over 25 years of experience working with technology in education.  Currently she is the Director of Partnerships for Gooru, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to honor the human right to education.

Paulette grew up in Escondido, CA, and attended Escondido Public Schools.  She is married to her husband John Donnellon and they have 2 boys.  In her spare time, Paulette enjoys baking and spending time exploring the desert.


Member, Region 1