Jim Blair, who teaches Diversified Cooperative Training (DCT), will retire at the end of this month after having taught for 45 years. Mr. Blair sponsors the Cooperative Education Clubs of Florida and is the District Advisor for CECF. He was honored by Mr. Imerson at a faculty meeting today.
Mr. Blair joined the Gulf High School faculty at the start of the 1970-71 school year and taught at GHS for one year. Apparently, he started teaching at Gulf High School before anyone else now on the faculty but does not have the longest tenure here because he spent several years at Gulf Junior High School.
When he started at Gulf, the school was operating on double sessions and was located on Louisiana Avenue, in the building currently occupied by Gulf Middle School.
In 1971, the building on School Road which now houses Gulf High School opened as Gulf Junior High School, and Mr. Blair transferred to Gulf Junior High for the 1971-72 school year. He taught social studies. He recalls helping to move supplies to the new building, which he said was beautiful, with carpeting in every classroom.
In 1977 Gulf Middle and Gulf High School switched buildings, and in 1982 Mr. Blair switched back to Gulf High School, where he taught social studies briefly and then went into DCT and Work Experience.
Mr. Blair was born in Louisville in 1938. In 1957 he graduated from St. Xavier High School in Louisville, a school taught by a religious community known as the Xavierian Brothers. Upon graduation, he joined the Brothers. He attended Catholic University in Washington for two years and then earned a B. S. degree in Social Studies from Fordham University while teaching at one of the Brothers’ schools, an elementary school, in Brooklyn, N. Y., for five years.
After ten years, Mr. Blair left the order and returned to Louisville. He taught seventh and eighth grade social studies and English at St. Stephens Catholic School for one year and he taught for two years at Western High School. (Another Gulf teacher, Mr. Fulmer, also taught at Western High School.)
Mr. Blair and his family moved to New Port Richey in 1970.
In 1978 he received a master’s degree in education from the University of Tampa.
Mr. Blair is married to Sandy Blair, who teaches cosmetology at Marchman. She is in her 32nd year of teaching, and may retire after another year. She started the cosmetology program at Marchman. The Blairs have four children: Jerry, a DCT teacher at River Ridge High School; Joey, the activities director at Bayonet Point Health and Rehabilitation Center; Jamie Lynn, the property manager for Gator Investment Development, which provides student housing for UF students in Gainesville; and Jenna, a student at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in elementary education. Jamie Lynn and Jenna graduated from Gulf High School.
Mr. Blair and his son Jerry have an antique shop in Dillard, Ga. He has been in the antique business for twenty years. Mr. Blair and his wife have a second home in Franklin, N. C.
Mr. Blair’s last day at Gulf will be March 30.