Drawdy Talks About Biloxi School System - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/27/04

Drawdy Talks About Biloxi School System

The one thing Larry Drawdy wouldn't talk about during his WLOX News interview was the allegation that some school board members overstepped their authority. If a potential investigation proves that to be true, the school district could lose regional accreditation -- and students could lose access to college scholarships.

What Dr. Drawdy did talk about was his love for a Biloxi school system that trusted him to be superintendent for 10 years.

"We're not here about Larry Drawdy," he said while sitting at a table in his office. "We're not here about Paul Tisdale. We're not here about the board. We're here because we have to take care of boys and girls in this district."

Drawdy believes that as Biloxi's chief Indian, taking care of children is what his administration did best.

"I didn't commit a total of 21 years of my life to this community and especially the last 10 years, night and day, to have anything bad happen to this school district," he said.

During Dr. Drawdy's tenure, the face of Biloxi schools has gotten a dramatically different look. Four new schools are either open or under construction. But Drawdy said the building program isn't his best memory. He grabbed a hat with the number 5.0 on it, and said that perfect grade was his proudest moment.

"This is the crowning achievement of Biloxi," he said with a smile on his face. "Because this represents one thing. Our students and our faculty and our principals. And that's the key."

For weeks, Drawdy supporters urged him to reconsider his June 30th retirement. The school board's Thursday night decision to replace him with Dr. Paul Tisdale ended that possibility.

"I guess in any type of situation, every time you make a decision of that magnitude, you wonder if you made the right decision," he said. "I've made the right decision. It's time for me to go."

Dr. Drawdy said he had no plans to move out of the Biloxi area. He said retiring this summer simply gave him a chance to spend more time with his wife of 39 years, travel a bit, and watch his only granddaughter grow up.

by Brad Kessie

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