Nichols accepts schools post; Gilich to nominate Tisdale as CAO


Paul A. Tisdale

Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols has accepted an administrative post with Biloxi Public Schools, and, as a result, Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich plans to nominate City Councilman Paul A. Tisdale to be the city’s new chief administrative officer.

Before being elected to represent west Biloxi in 2013, Tisdale led Biloxi Public Schools with a budget and workforce similar to Biloxi municipal government.

Members of the Biloxi City Council and key city department heads were notified of the moves this afternoon.

Tisdale’s move to run the day-to-day operations of the city government, an appointment that must be approved by the City Council, means a special election will be called for Ward 5 voters to elect a new city councilman.

“David has an opportunity with Biloxi Public Schools, a district that has a great deal going on right now,” Gilich said, “and Paul Tisdale is someone who will bring a great deal of leadership and experience to head our administrative team. I’ve been impressed with his eagerness to regularly attend FEMA status meetings, staff budget meetings and generally be engaged in a wide range of issues.”

Tisdale was elected to the Biloxi City Council in 2013, after a distinguished 36-year career in education. He served as superintendent of Biloxi Public Schools from 2004 to 2011, and was also the superintendent of the Bay-Waveland School District from 1992 to 1996. He has a Doctorate , Master’s and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University,  and his career in education was highlighted by numerous national, regional and local honors. He has also served his hometown as a member of several community boards and associations.

During his tenure as Biloxi schools chief, Tisdale oversaw the re-opening of Biloxi schools less than a month after Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent realignment of school attendance zones to reflect post-Katrina shifts in population.

Two years after stepping down as Biloxi’s schools chief, he was elected to represent west Biloxi, as District 5 City Councilman, succeeding longtime councilmember Tom Wall.

Tisdale also was one of four City Councilmembers to run for mayor after the resignation of Mayor A.J. Holloway 15 months ago.

David Nichols, meanwhile, will be leaving Biloxi municipal government for the second time.

He served as the city’s Community Development Director in the late 1980s, and as chief administrative officer during Mayor A.J. Holloway’s first two terms. After stints as Gulfport’s CAO and director of the Economic and Urban Development Department, he returned to Biloxi City Hall in 2013 to replace retiring Director of Administration David Staehling and has been in that position since 2013, continuing through the Gilich administration.

A native of Laurel, he holds two degrees from the University of Mississippi: a master’s degree in Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in business.