Not a Day Will Go by That We Won’t Miss Mr.Day


Paloma Welch

Mr. Day loves to read the SPHS Palmetto & Pine newspaper!

After more than 28 years in the classroom, Mr. Jamie Day is ready for what the future holds outside the walls of St. Petersburg High School. Many might know him as the man who stands on the third floor of the media building, greeting his students with a smile and a “good morning.” However, what many don’t know is that these are his last few weeks on the St. Pete High campus.

Mr. Day, who has been teaching at St. Pete High for over a decade and is the current Philosophy and Theory of Knowledge teacher for the IB students, has decided it is his time to retire and travel the world. After participating on the swim team at his high school in Houston, Texas, Mr. Day went to Indiana University, where he was originally inspired to become a teacher. He spent a few years coaching in Mississippi before returning to Texas for academic reasons. From here, he found his way to St. Petersburg. 

His impact on the St. Petersburg community began when he coached for St. Petersburg Aquatics at Northshore. He was recruited to coach for St. Pete High, where he “loved the kids on the team,” made of 80% IB students, because of their work ethic and dedication. While coaching, he taught in the traditional program for two years before taking over the 9th-grade Pre-IB Inquiry Skills course. It inspired him to want to be an IB classroom teacher, too. He left St. Pete High to help open Palm Harbor High School with an IB program in 1996. Thankfully, about 12 years ago, he returned to finish out his career as a Green Devil. 

Mr. Day shared his favorite memory at St. Pete High,  thinking back to his first two to three years when he returned here, where “every person in the class was unbelievably phenomenal.” It made him think that “it just doesn’t get any better,” and he was hopeful for the following years of his teaching career. The most impactful aspect of this unforgettable class was that they were “awesome kids” who “paid attention to the world.”

IB Sophomore Michael Weaver describes how Mr. Day keeps his students informed on “current events like NPR” and lets them “read the news in class.” Mr. Day says he feels “compelled to talk about things that are going on that are potentially useful in class.” The aim of the Theory of Knowledge class curriculum is to teach students “how you justify what you claim to know.” Students have to learn how to make claims and counterclaims that can be backed up with examples. He aims to shape “happy, healthy, productive people” who are “willing to make the world better.”

IB Junior Sophie Slager is a student in Mr. Day’s TOK class. She loves “how involved he is with sports and [students’] lives.” She says she is “going to miss him” because he is so “giggly and caring.” IB History Teacher Michael Beam agrees, saying that “Mr. Day has always been positive. His outlook on school and life has always been refreshing and keeps people grounded.” 

Mr. Day’s plan after he retires is to “travel, swim, cook, and read. That’s it!” he said. In June 2023, Mr. Day is going on an Alaskan expedition cruise to study biology. While he is excited to pursue his post-retirement plans, he will miss and remember parts of his time spent in the classroom. He will miss his interactions with people and the “kids and faculty,” but he won’t miss the “work” part. 

So if you happen to see Mr. Day enjoying his life as a retired teacher (maybe swimming laps at North Shore Pool), make sure to greet him with the same kind of respect and kindness he had for his students.