Drew retiring after 37 years in education

Walnut Hill native spent 14 years as teacher, assistant principal at Flomaton Elementary

Beth Drew, who has spent the past 37 years with the Escambia County (Ala.) School System that included 14 years as a teacher and assistant principal at Flomaton Elementary School, is retiring July 1 from her current position as assistant superintendent.

Drew, 61, is a native of Walnut Hill and a 1976 graduate of Ernest Ward High School. After attending Pensacola State Junior College, she received her bachelor's degree in elementary education at Troy University and her master's degree in elementary education from Livingston University. She also received a master's degree in educational administration from Alabama State University.

She served as a classroom teacher for the school system from 1983 to 1996. She served as assistant principal at FES from 1997 to 2000 and principal at Rachel Patterson Elementary School in Atmore from 2000 to 2006.

She served as the system's elementary supervisor from 2006 to 2008 and went on to serve as elementary supervisor/Title I supervisor, director of federal programs/curriculum and instruction and has served as assistant superintendent since October, 2014.

"I will have actually worked 37 years but with sick leave it equals 38 and a half years," Drew said. "It just seemed like it was time to go. I've served under eight superintendents and had a lot of opportunities."

Drew said she knows there will be a big adjustment in leaving education.

"The kids is what I'll miss the most," she said. "When I left the classroom it was a huge adjustment. But I was fortunate to be able to go back into the schools."

She said following the students' successes after they graduate is very special.

"I look at some of the kids I taught at Flomaton who became successful citizens and think I may have helped a little bit," she said. "It's very rewarding."

Drew said she has no set plans for retirement but knows sitting at home isn't on her list.

"I'm not going to go home and do nothing," she said. "Steve and I have three grandchildren and both of our mothers are still living."

She said she may do some part time work with something tied to education.

"I put in 37 years and I've sacrificed a lot with my own kids," she said. "I've got 284 sick days saved up. That shows I loved what I was doing all those years."