By the time Gary Anderson was 30, he had already retired from his job as general manager at The Computer Store of Seattle. “We were the largest computer store in the I-5 region for the seven years that I worked there,” Gary said. “And that allowed me to have a reasonable amount of financial independence.”
After his retirement, he went on to pursue his interests and hobbies. At first, this meant developing software. “I had a small software company where I developed networking software,” he said. “I did that from age 30 to about 34 or 35.” After several years of developing software, Gary began to feel bored. He wanted to do something more significant with his life.
By this point in his life, Gary had already studied business, economics, computer science, and math at the University of Washington. He had already taken semesters abroad, studying at prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. It was then that he decided to go back to school. “I went to Seattle University which has a one year program to get a master’s degree in teaching,” Gary said. “My thought was that I would teach in public schools like my parents did and that would have been fine. I chose math because I felt that would be the easiest thing for me to get a job any place I wanted to work.”
One of the teachers who attended Seattle University with Gary happened to be an alumnus of SAAS. She recommended that he check out Seattle Academy. He was soon hired as the department chair of the math program at Seattle Academy. “Usually you wouldn’t be hired as department chair right out of college,” Gary said. He attributes this accomplishment to his experience with computers and management.
Now, 20 years later, Gary considers the growth of the computer technology program and the increased reputability of the math department as his greatest accomplishment at SAAS. “I think it’s hard for what was considered to be mostly an art school to have a serious technology program,” Gary said. “I think that now we have serious programs in all sorts of areas.”
Not having a family to tend to allows Gary to pursue topics that interest him. “I think that teaching gives me a base that’s a regular part of my schedule,” Gary said. “I’m lucky to have a job in which I have a lot of flexibility to do what I want to do, where I feel like I can accomplish something and have a positive impact on others.”