Paige Cameron, CFNN Reporter
Law and Justice teacher, Jimmy Black is more than just a teacher; he’s a cook, a retired sheriff, a husband, and a father. Students who have the pleasure of having Mr. Black as a teacher during their high school years gain an experience they will never forget.
Black started his career by working at the sheriff’s department. “I worked all the way through the ranks, everything from the jail to the patrol, SOU, narcotics, major crimes, homicide.” He said.
The Sheriff’s Department became home for Black until he retired. He worked in various departments at the sheriff’s department for years until he left for three years to work for the school system as Head of Security. After working for the school system, he went back to the sheriff’s department and retired as a Major in 2009.
His reasoning for joining the sheriff’s department comes from growing up around Sheriff Clark, who was best friends with his grandfather. He says, “Being around Sheriff Clark and the sheriff’s department growing up made me want to be a cop.”
When Black retired in 2009, he planned on taking time for himself and not finding another job. It wasn’t until Mr. Jernigan, who was Cape Fear’s principal at the time, offered him a job he couldn’t refuse.
Black doesn’t regret his decision to join the education system. “I love it. I have to say I’ve been blessed with two very good careers. I love their work, and at the sheriff’s office, I didn’t mind getting up and going to work every day, and I feel the same way about teaching.”
Like any ordinary job, changing careers can become a challenge for most people. Black doesn’t feel that he faced many challenges in his ten years of teaching. “It was hard from being one type of authoritative figure and now being a different type.” He said.
Don’t make the mistake thinking that Black is one-dimensional though; he serves justice both in the classroom and the kitchen. He not only cooks for his students and his family, but he competes in competitive cooking competitions.
“I got into cooking when I was at the sheriff’s office, and we would always have get-togethers and barbeques on days off. I started cooking that way, and everybody thought the food that I cooked was very good,” Black said of his love for the grill.
Having barbeques with the members of the sheriff’s department inspired him to get involved in pig pickings and competitions. “I’m part of what they call the North Carolina Whole Hogs Circuit. You cook whole hogs and go around the state.” Black said.
Black has placed numerous times in competitions, including placing 13th in the state for culinary and 7th for taste.
He doesn’t just participate in competitions to show off his cooking skills, but to support charitable causes. “These cook-offs are all geared towards charity, and so any money that is made from cook-offs go to some charitable cause.”
Black is a man of many skills. From working as a sheriff to competing in cooking competitions, he never fails to succeed. Even though he’s only taught for ten years, he’s become a teacher students will never forget.