• 64°

Archie Trawick enjoyed a career as a teacher, school superintendent

By Staff
Senior Living
(This week The Atmore Advance spotlights Mr. Archie Trawick. Mr. Trawick is 70 years old.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: In Brewton right off of Bellville St. across from the hospital. I was born in 1936.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: Archie B. Trawick and Maye Trawick.
They were married from 1925 until 1968. That's when my father died. My mother died in 1979.
Q: Did you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I have two sisters. Bobby Tew is 80 and she lives in Florala and Betty Davidson is 75 and she lives in Tallahassee, Fla.
They were both teachers during the depression so they had to move around a lot because the state would run out of money to pay them.
Q: Where did you attend high school and college?
A: I started school at Bell Fountain.
My mother taught fifth and sixth grade there.
My father was the principal at Bell Fountain. He also taught seventh and eighth grade, drove a bus, and was the janitor. He did a lot of stuff there.
After high school I went to Howard College in Birmingham. It's known now as Samford University.
Q: How did you travel when you were younger?
A: When I was little we didn't have a car. We would either have to ask someone to take us or ride a mule and buggy.
We walked to church and anywhere else that was close.
I used to work on old cars out of the junk yard and if I could get one to run I would drive my mother and sisters to church.
Back then you really didn't travel that much. You would have to travel 10 or 20 miles on dirt roads to go to town. And that's in a horse and buggy.
Q: Do you remember your first vehicle?
A: A 1952 used Plymouth. It costs about $600.
Q: What jobs did you hold?
A: One of my first jobs was working on the farm with my father. I spent many hours behind a mule.
I loved to teach. I used to look forward to Monday morning. Not many people can say that.
I graduated from college on a Friday and started working at Robertsdale High School on Monday. I taught 10th, 11th, and 12th grade English, but I taught primarily 10th grade. I stayed there for seven years.
While I was teaching there I attended Auburn University during the summers and received my Masters Degree in administration.
After Robertsdale High School I started teaching English at Forest Hill High School in West Palm Beach, Florida. I taught there for two years.
After that I was the assistant principal at Dothan High School for five years.
Then I became the principal at Atmore High School from 1971-1979. There was a lot of racial rioting when I started there. But with the help from the students, parents, and faculty that ended.
I am not a member of the J.C. Club, but at a football game one night they called me out and offered me the Distinguished Service Award. That award had been offered to only one other individual 25 years before they offered it to me.
I have always believed in treating everyone equal.
I was promoted to the assistant superintendent for 10 years. I was in charge of new buildings, maintenance, transportation, and all of the purchasing done for the county.
I was then promoted to superintendent. I was the superintendent for four years.
When I became superintendent they were about $700,000 in debt. I convinced the county commission to levy a one cent sales tax. When I left they were $2 million up.
That wasn't the only thing that got us out of debt, but it was the most important thing.
Q: Did you ever marry?
A: Yes. Her name is Mary Charles Trawick and we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in December of 2005.
We met when I was in college and she was still in high school. We went to the same church.
Q: Do you have any children or grandchildren?
A: Tony is our oldest. He's an optometrist in Lakeland, Fla., and his wife is a school teacher. They have two children.
Dewayne is the middle child. He worked at General Motors for 20 years. Now he has moved back and built a house right up the road. He has three children.
Tammy is our youngest. She is a math teacher and her husband is a coach and P.E. teacher in Ozark. They have three children.
Q: Where do you attend church?
A: Perdido Baptist Church. I have gone there all my life. Mary Charles and myself have been going together for about 22 years.
Q. What keeps you busy these days?
A: My health is declining so I can't really do much. But I love to work outside when I can.
I enjoy my farm chores, watching movies, and playing music.
I enjoy playing the fiddle, guitar, and keyboard.
Q. Have you traveled much?
A: I traveled a good bit when I was principal. We traveled to meetings and things in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and many other places. But now I don't travel that much.
My wife likes to travel, but not me.
Q. What's your favorite television show?
A: "CSI" and "Criminal Minds." I don't care too much for reality shows or sitcoms.
Q: What advice do you give to people on staying healthy?
A: The most important thing to remember is never smoke.
(If you would like to recommend a senior to be spotlighted please contact Stacie Cofield at 368-2123 or e-mail her at composing@atmoreadvance.com)