Bolden retires after 40 years of service in education
By Barrett Edge
Deborah Bolden retired from the Escambia County School System on Thursday.
A graduate of Escambia County High School and resident of Atmore, Bolden shared about her experience at a school that was rather close to her heart.
“I feel like I have a stake in the school. I have been in education for 40 years; the last four have been the best. I love the students. I love the staff,” said Bolden. “I want to thank you for the opportunity to lead Escambia County Middle School the last four years. They have flown by. It has been a challenge. It’s been great.”
Turning a school around in four years, Bolden commended the staff for all the hard work.
“The middle school has made tremendous progress the last four years. It has taken so much hard work by the staff. To show their dedication and commitment, I had no idea a few of them would be here today but they have a stake in the school like I did,” Bolden said.
During her time at the school, Bolden said that she was proud of how technologically sound the students had become. She emphasized the opportunity fourth graders have at the school to take electives. But, she said that the most important accomplishment was the strengthening of relationships.
“To me the most important accomplishment we’ve had is developing relationships with our students. It took a long time to get students to gain our trust at that school. They trust us. They love us. We love them. They will tell us just about anything; they will joke around with us. That did not come overnight. It took hard, hard work from the staff to show those students everyday how much they cared for them,” she said.
Superintendent John Knott recognized Bolden’s devotion to ECMS.
“Mrs. Bolden has not been with us but four years, but has made a tremendous impact in our school in our community and has really done a great job laying the foundation for us to be able to take up that torch for the next principal and move forward and that is what I expect to see,” Knott said.