A Tribute To Mr. Peters: Beloved Newsome Teacher Gone Too Soon


Meghan Reyes, Features Editor


     Newsome has lost a beloved teacher and friend. Criminal Justice teacher Sean Peters tragically passed away on Sunday, Feb. 13.


   “I met Sean Peters over 32 years ago,” says Carlos Somellan, criminal justice teacher and colleague to Mr. Peters, “We met at the Hillsborough County sheriff’s office.”


   Prior to starting his career at Newsome High School, Mr. Peters was a sheriff’s deputy for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Coach Somellan met Mr. Peters while working the same patrol division. At the time, Peters was a detective and Somellan was a sergeant. The pair also worked in a crime prevention division together. Mr. Peters worked for the sheriff’s department for 26 years before coming to work for the Hillsborough County School system.


   “I started the Criminal Justice program in the 2016 – 2017 school year,” says Somellan, “after the second year, I took on starting my own business, and Mrs. Bruning asked me to find somebody to help continue to teach this course. So I did one better: I found and brought Sean Peters to Newsome High School, where he took the program to a higher level.” 


   Mr. Peters began teaching at Newsome in the 2019 – 2020 school year. The pair worked side by side in the police force for over 20 years and were ecstatic to be reunited as faculty members in the Hillsborough County school system. Mr. Peters taught Criminal Justice 1 – 4, where he quickly became a beloved teacher among Criminal Justice students.  


   “What made Sean such a great teacher was the compassion and dedication he had for his students,” says Somellan, “and during his 26 years on the force, he was an outstanding deputy, detective and supervisor. But, above all, Sean was an amazing father, husband and friend.”


   On Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2021, Mr. Peters announced to his Criminal Justice students and the Newsome faculty that he would be leaving Newsome to spend time with his family. Then, on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, Newsome said goodbye to Mr. Peters as his last day as a teacher came to a close. 


 On Feb. 13, Mr. Peters tragically passed away due to complications of ALS. ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease that affects the nervous system, weakens muscles and impacts the physical functions of patients. Symptoms may vary depending on the patient; however, there is no cure. 


  “His students were always his primary concern,” says Somellan, “and before Sean was forced to leave us, he wrote a quote on his whiteboard that will always stick with me, ‘I will forever be your teacher, and you will forever be my students.’” 


   Sean Peters was a beloved teacher and friend. His warmth touched many students and faculty at Newsome. His presence and guidance will be greatly missed. Thank you, Mr. Peters, for all that you did.


    To help fund ALS research, go to https://gofund.me/d8be279d and help keep a man’s dream alive. Students, colleagues and friends can also send flowers to his gravesite and post sympathy messages. Go to https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/tampabaytimes/name/sean-peters-obituary?id=33032507 to learn how you can honor Mr. Peters’ memory.