LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Adorned with floral arrangements and great memories, mourners said goodbye to Michael Peterson.
"I felt as if I didn't make an appearance or pay my last respects, it wouldn't have been right for me to do," said SFC Jeffery Stegall, who played football at Hall High School under Peterson.
Stegall remembers Peterson as an influential principal and coach at Hall High. He credits Peterson for pointing him toward the military.
"I managed to stay out of a lot of trouble because of him and listening to him and learning the values that he taught me when I was younger," Stegall said.
Peterson's services brought out many who had close contact with the former high school teacher, coach, and principal, who worked in the district for thirty-eight years before retiring in 2010.
Those who worked for Peterson say students and faculty respected him.
"He listened to you and then you listened to him and you had a better understanding. I think he would have been great on the school board," said Marie Vinsant, who worked under Peterson at Metropolitan Career and Technical Center.
Dr. Morris Holmes, the superintendent of the Little Rock School District, agrees with Vinsant. Even though Peterson served only a few weeks on the board, he already had goals.
"Pete had come to the board with some real commitments that we should do better in our communication with parents. We should do more to bring parents into our schools."
Holmes said those goals would have touched many more lives.
The Little Rock School District has already begun advertising the opening and board members will pick Peterson's replacement.