Principal Peterson outlines next steps after retirement from BHS

Principal Brent Peterson stands in his office at Bainbridge High School. - Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review
Principal Brent Peterson stands in his office at Bainbridge High School.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review

He’s been an elementary school teacher. He’s worked in the island’s school administration. And over the past 10 years he’s been the principal of Bainbridge High School.

But after this school year, Brent Peterson will retire from the Bainbridge Island School District.

“I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to be involved with Bainbridge Island schools for a long time,” Peterson said. “I started my career 39 years ago, down in Oregon, and then I came here 32 years ago.”

“It’s time to step back from this work and spend some time with family and have some new adventures,” he added. “Spend a little more time being a grandfather and a father.”

When he came to Bainbridge Island, Peterson was hired as a teacher at Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary School in 1981. Since then he has watched the island’s schools evolve through dramatically changing times for education.

“The impact technology has had on our learning environment has certainly been pretty significant,” he said.

“It make me feel really old to say that; I remember when we brought the first computers into the schools and we were trying to figure out how we would use them to organize instruction. Fast forward to today, and everyone has a smart phone.”

But even in our fast-paced modern world, some things never change on Bainbridge Island.

“The community has changed in so many ways in terms of the growth that has occurred on the island,” Peterson said. “But I would have to say, all in all, there’s been that consistent sense of community over the years.”

“For me one thing that has been a real constant has been the amazing kids that show up each year,” he added. “And we have such a supportive and engaged community that continues to demonstrate a high level of support for its schools.”

Now the future is open to Peterson. He plans to spend time visiting family members throughout the Northwest and the West Coast. Beyond that, he is looking forward to exploring his options.

The hunt for Bainbridge High School’s next principal is on the horizon.

The school district will begin advertising for the open position in December, with a February 2013 deadline for applications.

District Assistant Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen will oversee the search and the interviews for the process. Peterson said that because of Bainbridge High School’s high profile, the search can span across the nation. He hopes that the new hire will come on board during his final months at the school so there will be a good transition.

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