Bolden, Drew retiring

Published 10:17 am Thursday, May 7, 2020

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By Kaitlin Holley


The Escambia County Schools Board of Education recently reviewed and approved the retirements of Assistant Superintendent Beth Drew and Escambia County Middle School Principal Debbie Bolden.

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Their retirement is effective on July 1, 2020.

The meeting discussed the student code of conduct, retirements, and approval of non-renewal and or transfers of personnel for the 2020-21 school year.

Bolden has helped transform the Atmore school in a short period of time. From the start, the then-new principal got straight to work to change the appearance of the school.

Bolden has been in education for more than 30 years.

Before her stint at ECMS, she was an assistant principal in Maryville Elementary in Mobile, then went to George Hall Elementary. Then, she was an assistant principal for five years before going to Dr. Rober T.W. Gilliard Elementary School for seven years.

Drew has served as an educator and leader for and will be missed by the Escambia County Community. She started as a teacher in 1983 at Flomaton Elementary School. Then moved her way up to assistant principal of FES. The year 2000 is when she became the Principal of Rachel Patterson Elementary moving her way up to Elementary Supervisor for the Escambia Board of Education. She then went on to be ARI Regional PArtner with the Alabama State Department of Education. The years 2009-2014 she served as the Director of Federal Programs/Curriculum and Instruction and Title 1 Supervisor. In 2014 she deservingly became the Assistant Superintendent once again serving Escambia County Board of Education. While climbing up her career ladder she also accomplished her Masters Degree in Elementary Education in the year 1989 and received her diploma from Livingston University. In 1996 she went further on to receive her second master’s degree from Alabama State University in Educational Administration.

“I have had an amazing career,” Drew said. “It has been my privilege to work with great students, teachers and administrators through the years. I have often said that I choose to go into education, but I feel as though I was chosen to go into leadership. I never chose leadership as a way to make more money or to get out of the classroom. I loved the classroom and missed it dearly.”

Drew said after about 10 years in the classroom, she felt a strong desire to do more by moving into leadership.

‘”I went back to school to get a master’s degree in leadership,” she said. “After 14 years in the classroom, I moved into leadership as the assistant principal at Flomaton Elementary.”

Drew said working with children is the most rewarding occupation imaginable.

“I have been blessed to be able to do what I love for an entire career,” she said. “I wish the students and staff of all the Escambia County Schools the best in the years to come.”

Additional personnel approvals are below:

  • Cynthia Saucer, Reading Specialist, Huxford Elementary School, effective June 1, 2020
  • Marguerite Watson, Elementary Teacher, Huxford Elementary School, effective June 1, 2020
  • Jennifer Hall, Counselor, Pollard McCall Junior High School, effective June 1, 2020
  • Shirley Manning, Office Aide, Pollard McCall Junior High School, effective June 1, 2020
  • Sheila O. Fountain, Speech-Language Pathologist, W.S. Neal Elementary School, effective June 1, 2020.
  • Kimberly Gafford, Elementary Teacher, W.S. Neal Elementary School, effective June 1, 2020
  • Randall Ray Patterson, Science Teacher, W.S. Neal Middle School, effective June 1, 2020