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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.


Doug Paulson headshotPresident
Region 1

A lifelong resident of Escondido, Doug has spent the past 20 years as a high school math, science and English teacher in Escondido. A former Deputy Sheriff, National Park Ranger and Peace Corps volunteer, Doug spends his time working on social justice issues and improving the lives of families in poverty. Doug met his wife Adriana in Uruguay. They have four children in college, all of them products of Escondido public schools.

Joan Gardner

Joan Gardner headshotVice President
Region 2

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.


Dr. Gary M. Altenburg headshotClerk
Region 5

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.


Joe Muga headshotMember
Region 3

Dr. Muga is a clinical psychologist with a doctoral degree from Oklahoma State University. He also received a master’s degree in public administration from San Diego State University. He is a former college and graduate school instructor. Dr. Muga has worked in the criminal justice system for over twenty years as a clinical psychologist with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and also a deputy commissioner with the Board of Parole Hearings. His wife Terri Price is an EUSD teacher, and their daughter is an EUSD student.


Zesty Harper headshotMember
Region 4

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.