Mississippi Educator Larry Drawdy Receives MC's Order of the Golden Arrow Award
October 7, 2010
Larry Drawdy came out of retirement to become a Mississippi Department of Education administrator pressing for improvement for six of the state’s troubled school districts.
It’s an enormous challenge for the former Biloxi schools superintendent in his role as interim deputy superintendent with the Department of Education’s Office of School Improvement, Oversight and Recovery.
Drawdy’s hard work with the Jackson-based agency and distinguished career as an outstanding educator is getting noticed.
A 1963 Mississippi College graduate, Drawdy was recently selected to receive one of the Christian university’s highest honors, the Order of the Golden Arrow Award. He’s returning to his alma mater during Homecoming weekend October 14-16 to pick up the award and reconnect with former classmates. The awards dinner is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 15 at Anderson Hall in the B.C. Rogers Student Center on the Clinton campus.
The Order of the Golden Arrow salutes alumni or friends of the university who made outstanding achievements in their professions. The award recognizes exceptional performance or leadership beyond the ordinary.
Given the nation’s weak economy where huge budget cuts are the norm, Drawdy’s got a tough job. He’s often on the road working long hours to revive the six districts under conservators: Tate, Okolona, North Panola, Indianola, Sunflower and Hazlehurst public schools. There’s much work to do, but “we are pleased with the test results in a number of the schools,” the Mississippian said. “It’s a difficult time for the state to take over school districts.”
Drawdy retired in June 2004 after a 40-year career in education, including service as superintendent in Biloxi, Picayune and Meridian public schools. But when Mississippi Superintendent Tom Burnham returned to his post in Jackson last year, the opportunity to work with the fellow Mississippi College graduate was one of the key reasons pulling Drawdy out of retirement.
As he grapples with many challenges facing school administrators, teachers and students across the Magnolia State, Drawdy says his Mississippi College education and the values of the school provided a strong foundation for his education career spanning four decades. He’s also appreciative of the people at his alma mater who tapped him for the Order of the Golden Arrow Award.
“I’m deeply honored that Mississippi College bestowed this honor,” Drawdy said from the road Thursday on his way to visit a school district. He joins a pretty exclusive list of MC honorees over the years.
A Miami, Florida native, Drawdy played football for the MC Choctaws and ran track during his undergraduate days on the Clinton campus in the early 1960s. With a bachelor’s degree in English in 1963, Drawdy received a master’s in guidance and counseling from Mississippi College in 1965 and a doctorate in educational administration from Mississippi State University.
Drawdy was an excellent choice for the award, said MC School of Education Dean Don Locke.
”He’s had an outstanding career. I’m really pleased to see Mississippi College recognize it and honor him with the Order of the Golden Arrow,” Locke said. “His expertise is well-recognized. Dr. Burnham has tasked him with a big undertaking. It exemplifies the respect he has statewide.”
Photo: Dr. Larry Drawdy