While it’s often a challenge to pick one word to describe a person, the word humility comes to mind upon meeting Edward “Ed” Vertuno.

After retiring following more than 45 years in the education field, Ed admits he was at first skeptical about getting involved with the Senior Center. Twice-a-week Tai Chi classes changed his mind. “I see people my age who seem lost. I am very thankful for being involved with the Senior Center,” he says.

Ed and his wife Bev travel frequently to France, where they stay with friends. Two years ago, he used this personal travel experience to spread the joy to others, co-organizing and co-leading a group of 25 adults on a trip to France. Though the globetrotting couple doesn’t have a trip planned this year, Ed says they may lead another group next year.

His “job” as a tour guide, and his service on the Board of Directors for his Woodgate neighborhood association and on the Senior Services Advisory Council are only the latest chapter in Ed’s life. Those who only know him post-retirement likely have no idea of his long, extensive, distinguished and impactful career in education. He began in Illinois as a high school teacher and principal. Next he became principal and Director of Developmental Research for Florida State University School. Finally, he served as Director of Student Teaching at Florida State University. Along the way, he received dozens of awards and racked up many achievements, successful projects, and creative work.

When asked his favorite career memory, Ed took a few seconds to reflect, then recalled several stories about particularly challenging situations he encountered as a school principal. The ones he related were in no way glamorous, just real stories of how he had been able to play a life-changing role in the experiences of the young men and women in his care. For those opportunities, he still expresses gratitude and honor.

As someone who invested most of his life in students, it seemed only fitting to ask Ed Vertuno what advice he would give to the younger generation. After another moment to reflect, he advises, “Take advantage of the time you have.”