SFSC Bids a Fond Farewell to Jerry DeJonge
After 19 years of service to South Florida State College, Jerry DeJonge, director, Public Service Academy (PSA), is retiring in February. DeJonge spent 24 years at the Tampa Police Department before retiring and beginning his career at SFSC in 1994.
At first, DeJonge didn’t want the job. “The dean at the time, Michele Roberts, contacted me and asked me to apply,” he said. “I didn’t want to, but then I thought for a while and decided it might be a good thing to do.”
When he first started, the PSA was located at the Sims Center, an old grade school in Avon Park. “We were in the Sims Center for a few months before we moved to some portables on campus. We stayed there for five years before the PSA building was completed in 2000,” DeJonge said. “We are now the finest facility of its size in the state.”
DeJonge has watched SFSC expand over the years with the construction of the SFSC University Center, the Health and Science Education Center, and the Hardee and DeSoto campuses. “The growth of the college has been rather dramatic over the past 18 years,” he said. “It’s been great to watch.”
He will miss his friends in the PSA the most. “This has been the best team,” DeJonge said. “I am so proud of this program and the people who work here. I’ll miss all of them.”
During his retirement, DeJonge will travel, work around the house, and maybe do some volunteer work. “I’m just going to do whatever I want to do!”