Persinger Architects Facilitates $2 Million Grant for Geyserville Unified School District

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Geyserville Unified School District Awarded Sizeable Grant to Bolster Innovative CTE Program and Adjunct Facilities Upgrades

With their (Persinger Architects) insight in their proposed solutions in addressing many of the project and site challenges, we were awarded the CTE Facilities grant. — Deborah Bertolucci

In an effort to jumpstart an innovative Career Technical Education (CTE) Program and adjunct facilities expansion at Geyserville New Tech Academy (GNTA), Geyserville Unified School District (GUSD) pursued a grant from the California Department of Education (CDE) under its Proposition 51 CTE Facilities Program. Sonoma County-based Persinger Architects spearheaded the grant application effort as the design firm selected to develop the forthcoming GUSD facilities expansion. After an extensive application process and review, GUSD was recently awarded a significant grant by the CDE CTE Program to kickstart the project.

Alexis Persinger of Persinger Architects, says, “Geyserville, like many smaller school districts, has limited financial resources. Often times, these districts aren’t fully aware of the funding opportunities available to them, nor do they have the bandwidth to solely undertake the arduous application process. A niche function of our design services for districts such as Geyserville is to not only provide design, but help them to achieve a greater vision. Grant preparation is an integral part of that. With this funding, Geyserville New Tech Academy will have expanded and upgraded facilities to better support an energized new CTE program that will provide educational opportunities otherwise stifled by limited resources. We are proud to be a part of helping them achieve this major goal.”


The $2,006,040.00 awarded to GUSD by the CDE Proposition 51 CTE Facilities Program will:

  • Build a new, modern, industry-standard facilities for the GUSD CTE Program that are functional, safe and accessible. This includes a new greenhouse, covered outdoor classroom space, a modernized shop, and expanded classroom facilities.
  • Install industry-standard equipment for use within the program.
  • Educate and train students to meet the needs of Sonoma County AG industry; The new facility will support students in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Sector, specifically in the Agricultural Mechanics, Agriscience, and Sustainable Agriculture pathways.

Deborah Bertolucci, GNTA Principal and GUSD District Superintendent, says, “The Persinger team demonstrated creativity and imagination as well as a clear understanding of our CTE instructional mission for Geyserville New Tech Academy. With their insight in their proposed solutions in addressing many of the project and site challenges, we were awarded the CTE Facilities grant.”


GUSD has provided an agriculture program to its high school students continuously since 1972. The district is committed to advancing the agriculture program at GNTA. It’s new CTE Innovative Agriculture with AWE (Air, Water and Elements) Aeroponics & Science Program, introduced in the 2020-2021 academic year, will have the capability to exponentially grow the program and on-site capabilities with the grant funding.

The CTE Innovative Agriculture with AWE (Air, Water and Elements) Aeroponics & Science curriculum is a groundbreaking program within the CTE Agriculture and Natural Resources Sector. The curriculum was developed through a partnership with GNTA instructors with help from the CTE Foundation of Sonoma County. The program is University of California-approved (and available to all of Sonoma County school districts and beyond). It encourages students to look at AG as a future career possibility, engaging them to pursue careers as Biotechnology specialists, lab technicians, viticulturalists, field managers, growers, or agricultural management consultants. An Agricultural Mechanics Pathway taught in a renovated, modern Agricultural Mechanics shop will help students to gain knowledge, hands-on experience and confidence to become welders, agricultural and irrigation engineers, as well as equipment service technicians and operators.

Students at GNTA in grades 9-12 have the unique opportunity to take these UC approved CTE program courses. The courses are taught not only in a classroom setting, but in an on-campus field study setting (which the grant will be providing facilities upgrades to provide students and teachers with better access to the necessary spaces, facilities, tools, and curriculum needed).

David Bradford, a STEM teacher at GNTA, was central to the grant application process, working in conjunction with Persinger Architects to qualify GUSD for the grant. Bradford, says, “I seized the opportunity that was presented and took the lead to work with Persinger Architects. We made a great team that was able to work through the application, gather support, and be awarded the grant. This grant will assist in the development of higher skills and greater opportunities for our students. It reiterates our district’s commitment to the students and stakeholders. It is wonderful to be a part of this community and the excitement is palpable.”

Bradford adds, “As an instructor, I am excited to share these opportunities with the students and continue to enhance exciting programs that build knowledge, skills, culture, collaboration and confidence. I would like to recognize the School Board and Superintendent Deborah Bertolucci for their ongoing support. I would also like to recognize the CTE Foundation of Sonoma County and the Sonoma County Fair Board for their inspiration and support, and Kai Klaassen and Richard Klug for starting a program that continues to flourish.”


The Geyserville Unified School District is composed of four schools at two sites and has approximately 231 students. The elementary school serves students in grades TK-5; the Geyserville New Tech Academy (GNTA) houses middle school 6-8, high school grades 9-12 and continuation high school grades 9-12.

GNTA has an enrollment of approximately eighty students in the high school and fifty students in the middle school. Student teacher ratio is 12:1, with class sizes ranging from five to 23 students. The GNTA mission is to re-imagine teaching and learning through the integrated use of technology, the rigorous and relevant use of project-based learning, and a culture that is student-centric, based on trust, respect and responsibility. GNTA prepares students for the future.


Founded in 1997, Persinger Architects is an award-winning Sonoma County-based architecture firm. Specializing in innovative and sustainable large-scale institutional, commercial, and industrial design, the firm has managed over $100m in design and construction projects.

Part of the global “green” design and architecture movement, sustainable, functional design is integral to our mission. Our core design philosophy is the creation of elegant, functional structures that reduce energy consumption, increase comfort, health, and maintain environmental as well as structural integrity for years to come.

Our progressive design team delivers personalized services while managing projects that range from small-scale wineries to entire institutional complexes, such as school facilities. Persinger Architects helped design and construct the first LEED Platinum certified K-12 public school in California, and designed some of the nation’s first public school, solar powered, vehicle charging stations.

To learn more about Persinger Architects, visit

For more information about the GUSD grant and CTE program project, contact Alexis Persinger, or (707) 829-0700 office or (707) 481-0963 mobile.

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Alexis Persinger
Persinger Architects
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