"I was in the process of preparing an application to apply for the position and under the circumstances left at the end of the day knowing that July 1 I would be responsible for the district," said Dr. Paul Tisdale.
Ten days ago, director of administrative services Dr. Paul Tisdale inherited an estimated 6300 students, about 1000 employees, and as he says, a few more headaches when he was appointed the new superintendent of the Biloxi School District.
He says the announcement was exhilarating and humbling at the same time. But now, he says, is the time to move past the controversy, and get down to serving the students in Biloxi schools - not just by improving test scores, but also by improving the skills that, he says, can't be measured by any test.
"I think parents really expect their children to learn more than what's measured on the state assessment. If you talk to employers, sure they want kids to have skills necessary to begin employment in whatever industry they choose, but then on the other hand you want them to have these other skills, how to get along with folks. You want them to be responsible. We don't measure those anywhere on test scores and I think sometimes those skills and those teaching opportunities related to those skills are passed over in order to focus on perhaps the minimum requirements necessary in terms of academics and test scores to remain accredited or to have a high accreditation rating," said Dr. Tisdale.
Tisdale says his new job, like his old one, will be like going to school.
He loves what he does, he loves to learn something new each day, and most of all, he loves the community he serves.
" I think that if I wanted to have one focus is that every child would feel like somebody cared about them and every employee would feel like somebody in the school district cared about them. And I think if we do that, I think almost everybody would be satisfied with out district. If we can maintain high standards and that's going be tough, but really remember who our customers are and what they expect then I think we'll be all right," said Tisdale.
Here's a little personal information on the incoming superintendent. Dr. Tisdale is a product of the Biloxi school system.
He has been married to Wanda Tisdale for 30 years in May, and they are the parents of 2 children.