Peterson looks forward to life’s next chapter


Alyssa Dumbra

After teaching for 13 years at West Shore, Jim Peterson retired during the summer, and now begins a new chapter of adventure in his life.

“There is a variety of reasons [that made me want to retire], the main one is that I have been teaching for 13 years at West Shore, and that’s the longest I have been at any particular job,” Peterson said.

Peterson said he’s looking forward to exploring new job opportunities that are related to English, writing and business consulting.

“I am definitely going to continue working because I am only 61 and I still have bills, and also, I enjoy work,” he said.

Peterson said he plans to stay in the area because he was born and raised in Melbourne, and he has spent 30 years of his life in other locations. He loves what Melbourne has to offer, and he also enjoys the proximity to the beaches.

“I would like to substitute, [but] interestingly enough, the Florida school system will not allow you to substitute until a minimum of six months after your retirement. They prefer if you wait a year,” Peterson said.

The Florida school system does this because, if you do substitute before a year after you retire, you lose your retirement payment that comes once a month.

“I hope to have [more adventures] after my retirement,” Peterson said. “I do intend to travel to Europe, and to visit my son in Tokyo, and I want to visit Australia.” 

He said he enjoyed being part of the Wildcat Nation and made many “wonderful” memories teaching.

“My favorite memory would have to be the students,” he said. “It’s the fact that we have good quality young people who kept me up to date on the new trends. That genuinely keeps me young at heart. Also, [I appreciated] the support from the administration and my fellow teachers and colleagues.” 

By Alyssa Dumbra