Panthers of ISKL #190: Timothy Pettus- The Sports Educator

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“Watching students who struggle with a skill, demonstrate perseverance, show improvement, and feel a sense of accomplishment, joy, and pride – this never gets old.”

Meet Tim Pettus, the ES PE & Activities Director who joined the ISKL community in 2018. Tim was born and raised in the USA and worked at a private school in Salt Lake City before moving to KL. Being a big lover of sports, Tim enjoys riding his bike, swimming, and watching live sports on TV.

Here is Tim’s story:

Do tell us more about yourself.

I was born and raised in the USA. I started at ISKL in 2018, my first international school job. Before teaching at ISKL, I taught at a private school in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

When and why did you join ISKL?

My wife, Jen, is also a teacher; we always dreamed of teaching internationally.

Please tell us more about your position as ES PE and Activities Director.

This is my second year working as the ES Activities Director. I was a full-time PE teacher during my first four years at ISKL, and am now halftime a PE teacher and halftime an ASA/Athletics Director.

I start the mornings by greeting students as they enter the school. Then, I teach a few PE classes and switch to the ASA job. Much of the ASA job involves working on the computer, answering emails, planning, and coordinating.

Can you tell us something you are working on now that you are excited about?

Each semester, we add new ASAs. Students and parents often contact me with new ideas for activities. I can’t always find the facilities or teachers to accommodate every request, but it is exciting when we can offer a new program.

Right now, we have a new skateboarding class, flag football, t-ball, cheerleading, Gamelan, and art class this year!

What is the most challenging part about your job?

We offer many exciting ASA’s. Some ASAs have more students trying to get into the class than space is available. When this happens, we run a lottery, and some students do not get to take that class.

One example is our Beginner Bikers program – the teachers for this are Damen Brown, Will Regan, and Jonny Turner, who are amazing. They take Prep Senior (PS) students who have never ridden a bike and use our large, safe PS playground. By the end of the semester, all of these students are successfully riding a two-wheel bike with no training wheels! Living in a big city with few safe places for a child to ride a bike, many students depend upon our program to learn this great, lifetime skill. However, telling parents, “Sorry, our program is full,” is tough.

Can you tell us more about your hobbies and interests? What do you do after work?

I enjoy riding my bike and swimming, and of course, I love sports and watching live sports and sports on TV.

Who or what inspires you?

Watching students struggle with a skill, demonstrate perseverance, show improvement, and feel a sense of accomplishment, joy, and pride – this never gets old.

What is your best memory (or most memorable moment) so far working at ISKL?

HS Panther Hoops Invitational Day

Performing the Cha Cha slide basketball dribble dance with ES students during a High School (HS) basketball game. The students practiced for two weeks in PE class, with some practicing at home. All students showed great improvement and were invited (regardless of their skill level) to perform during the HS basketball game in the Jungle Gym. Well over 100 students performed, and it was great to see students of all ability levels show up, excited to show off their skills.

What does ‘“Know yourself, care for all, and create a better world”’ mean to you?

In elementary PE, we teach more than just sports. The subject gives us multiple opportunities to teach and practice the skills of cooperation, communication, and compassion.


Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.

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