From helping students write their first Java program to showing freshmen how to throw curveballs, Jim Hunter knows how to teach students valuable life lessons that they will cherish forever.
Hunter is a teacher at Peachtree Ridge High School. For nearly two decades, he has shaped the lives of the thousands of students who have either stepped into his classroom or walked onto the baseball field, providing them with unforgettable experiences.
Hunter was born and raised in New Jersey. In high school, he helped lead his baseball team to a fourth-place finish in the entire state. He then went on to attend Brookdale Community College and later, the University of Georgia. While attending college, he became the pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, a major league team, in the ’90s.
During the off-seasons, Hunter went back to Brookdale to complete his education. It was there that he first got a taste of being a guiding influence in young people’s lives. As Hunter helped mentor students and supervise their practices, he began to embark on a path that strayed from professional baseball.
“I wanted to coach in some capacity, and the teaching aspect would be an opportunity for me to work with young people and give back,” Hunter says.
At UGA, Hunter was fascinated by the computers at the school, spending long hours hovered over the now-obsolete machines. During a time when the internet was still in its infancy, he taught himself how to program in Java. “I would hang out in the computer lab until they kicked me out!” he laughs. “I just enjoyed being in that environment, and as I kept going forward, that’s where my focus turned to computer science.”
Currently, Hunter is coaching the freshman baseball team and teaching Advanced Placement Computer Science. Hunter wants his students to know that it’s important to persevere while being coachable and embracing criticism. He pushes his students to take advantage of their educations and the countless opportunities that will inevitably follow. “Coach Hunter’s class opened me up to a whole new world of computer programming which helped me get an internship last summer,” James Cai, one of Hunter’s former students, explains.
Overall, Hunter strives to mold the futures of his young students in the changing culture of the world. He hopes that the lessons he teaches them will leave a lifelong legacy for each of them.