Though she currently serves as the City of Escanaba’s Recreation Director, Kim Peterson has worked in various city government positions for decades – she started working for the city before she left high school. Throughout the years, she has put the knowledge she gained as a Bay College student to use.
Kim graduated from Escanaba Senior High School in 1991. She then attended classes at Bay from 1991 to 1993 as a secretarial science major, graduating with an associate degree.
“It was a lot cheaper than everything else around,” she said of her decision to take classes at Bay.
She also appreciated the fact that the college was close to home for her.
“It’s in our backyard, so why would I leave?,” Kim said.
While she was taking classes at Bay, Kim was a part-time employee of the City of Escanaba. She worked in the clerk’s office and in community preservation, among other city departments.
According to Kim, she began working with the city in 1989 – a few years before she graduated from high school.
“I did that co-op program my junior and senior year,” she said.
Kim said attending Bay gave her the flexibility she needed to balance her education with her career.
“They offered various times and days, and they had night classes at that time,” she said.
She appreciated the quality of the education she received at Bay, as well.
“I thought the instructors were top-notch,” Kim said.
After graduating from Bay, Kim continued to work in Escanaba’s city government.
“It was a good, reliable local job. There was always something new to plan … so it was always interesting,” she said.
Kim entered her current position in June 2015. As Recreation Director, she oversees the city department that is in charge of Escanaba’s beach, baseball fields, basketball courts, civic center, and many other recreational facilities. The recreation department also plans city events and rents out park amenities.
Though she last attended classes at Bay decades ago, Kim said her years at the college helped her build skills and connections that she still relies on today.
“Going to Bay provided experience and community contacts that were helpful for staying in the area,” she said.
She also noted that Bay has worked hard to expand its offerings since she was a student there, citing its Nursing program as just one example.
“We’re fortunate to (have) a community college that offers so much,” Kim said.