According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, Jim’s Facilities and Operations Division was responsible for transportation, fleet maintenance, grounds development and maintenance, all design, construction, budgeting, land acquisition of new schools and facilities, all remodeling and maintenance of existing properties, school safety, risk management, environmental and supply services, and the organization and implementation of all continuous quality inspiration and training. He was honored by the system by the dedication of “The Jim Steele Facilities and Operations Complex” to him and his team of 2,100 employees.
He had presented keynote speeches at several national and state conferences, and had taught classes on facilities management and operations and contract law for the Georgia School Superintendents’ Institute.
After completing the police academy, he became a deputized Gwinnett County sheriff and created the GCPS School Resource Officer program (school police). He was past president of the Georgia Police Officers’ Association.
He was past president of the Gwinnett Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow, in the Leadership Gwinnett class of 1991, and on the steering committee for many years, on the Board of Eastside Hospital for 20 years, on the design and planning committee for the J.M.Tull YMCA in Lawrenceville.
He was chairman of the Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful organization for 20 years during which time he was awarded the “Iron Eyes Cody” award: the highest national award for environmental program leaders. He was in the charter class of IGEL (Institute of Georgia Environmental Leadership).