After 51 years of starting track and field as well as cross country competitions in the Cedar Rapids Community School District, Jim Patterson put away his starter’s pistol for the final time Monday evening.

Jim is a familiar face around CRCSD, as his career began at Grant Wood Elementary in 1966 as a Physical Education teacher. In 1967, he moved to the newly-opened Coolidge Elementary, where he taught for the next 35 years until his retirement. While at Coolidge, Jim was a referee at football games and a starter at track meets.

“I love being around students and watching them compete,” said Patterson.

His final cross-country meet was October 10th at the 7th/8th Grade Cross Country Championship at Cherry Hill Park.

CRCSD sends out its appreciation for Jim’s years of service.