Seats now available for Biloxi First roast of Tisdale

Paul Tisdale, a longtime education leader and civic leader and second-term Biloxi City Councilman, will be the honoree at this year’s Biloxi First Roast, which takes place Oct. 24 at the IP Casino Resort.

Reservations – $50 for individuals or up to $1,000 for a reserved table of 10 – are now being taken. Deadline to reserve seats is Oct. 10. Call 228-229-8733 or 228-860-8871.

The annual dinner, which has featured a who’s who of community leaders over the years, is the annual major fundraiser for Biloxi First. The organization, established in 1989 to support teachers in creative classroom endeavors, has generated more than $365,000 in grants, providing 554 grants for classroom projects. The non-profit has pledged $100,000 to fund Promethean Boards in Biloxi Public Schools classrooms.

Among those lining up to roast Tisdale are Jeff Elder, Harry Joachim, Susan Hunt and Glen East.

Paul Tisdale, a Biloxi native, was educated in Biloxi Public Schools, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a doctorate. He served as an elementary school teacher and administrator in Biloxi Public Schools before being named superintendent of the Bay-Waveland School District in 1992. Six years later, he returned to Biloxi in a district administrative post, and in 2004, a year before Katrina struck, he was appointed to lead Biloxi Public Schools, which at the time had 6,000 students, a staff of 600 and a $50 million annual budget.

Nearly 30 days after Katrina, school re-opened with slightly more than 3,100 students on re-opening day. Although attendance returned to its pre-Katrina levels years later, as superintendent, Tisdale was at the center of decisions to re-purpose or close several schools to match Katrina-driven population shifts in Biloxi.

During his seven-year tenure as superintendent, three Biloxi schools were named National Blue Ribbon Schools, technology was significantly enhanced, the curriculum was revised to meet more stringent standards, quarterly student testing for mastery was implemented, and, for the first time, the entire school district was regionally accredited.

After retiring in 2011, Tisdale began attending City Council meetings. Two years later, in 2013, he ran unopposed for Councilman, Ward 5, representing West Biloxi.  He has established a record of accessibility, creating a website,, and publishes a weekly email to inform residents of Ward 5 and others interested. 
See the complete Tisdale bio
See your invitation to the roast and ticket info

News & notes: Bonus videos and photos

Thank you, Guv:¬† Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich was all smiles last week when Gov. Phil Bryant was in town to dole out $20 million in grants from oil and gas royalties in the Gulf of Mexico. To see the governor’s presentatation, followed by the mayor’s comments, click here.

Public Works on parade: Teams of Public Work crews have been canvassing high profile areas along U.S. 90 and in downtown, sprucing up areas ahead of Cruisin’ The Coast crowds. See a photo gallery by clicking here.

And finally: How about a look back at “the good ol’ days”? Courtesy of the Biloxi Public Library and BTV, and apparently created by the tourism leaders back in the day, comes “America’s Riviera,” a 14-minute, pre-Camille travelogue of Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. To take a trip back in time, click here.