November 17, 2017
Wakulla Middle School teacher and coach William “Bill” Peck received one of Governor Rick Scott’s Shine Awards given to educators from around the state for their dedication to educating students in Florida.
Peck was recognized at the November 7, 2017 Cabinet Meeting for his significant contributions to the field of education. This awards day added special recognition of Veterans Day on November 11 by honoring veterans who are currently teaching in Florida public schools.
Before beginning his teaching and coaching career at WMS in 2007, Peck served with the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division for four years, earning the rank of Sergeant E5. He then went on to attend Florida State University and worked in a business field for several years before deciding to teach.
He teaches Science and United States History to WMS 8th graders, along with working as the WMS Athletic Director and the assistant football coach.
Superintendent Bobby Pearce also took notice of Peck’s pathway to working with students: “In light of Bill Peck’s military background and his sincere interest in education, I was glad to recommend him for appointment as one of U.S. Congressman Neal Dunn’s panel members for recommendation of high school applicants to military academies.”
Peck was then selected and served on the three-member panel with an Air Force Major General and a Lieutenant Commander. They did not review applications from Wakulla County. There were several panels that covered all of U.S. Congressman Dunn’s 19 Florida counties he represents in Florida’s District 2.
“After reviewing the applications and conducting interviews all day, I was very impressed with the students,” says Peck. “My takeaway is that our Wakulla students are every bit as capable and have as good or better an education as any students from bigger districts.”
Peck also notes that even if a student doesn’t get into a military academy, there are other ways to accomplish career goals. “Joining ROTC in high school and/or college can be an avenue into pursuing plans for military service that can then lead to non-military careers after serving. There are definitely scholarships out there.”
Adds Superintendent Pearce, “Bill Peck is a great addition to our school system. His diverse background blends with his obvious interest in teaching students about pursuing opportunities they may never have thought possible.”