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Tutor retiring after 50 years of service

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 2/19/2014 7:12 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA)-- A man  who has spent most of his life educating north Mississippi's children says it's time to end his job after 50 years.

Dr. Derwood L. Tutor is the director of the Hancock Leadership Center in Tupelo, and will work there until the end of June. 

The days of Tutor, 71, leading the way at the Center are becoming fewer and fewer, but it will certainly not be the end of his working days.

Tutor intends to spend more time doing the things he loves to do most.

"I feel like the Lord has something left for me to do," said Tutor.

"I intend to work part-time for Harrisburg Baptist Church and part-time for Global Outreach International," he said. 

Tutor says it's only fitting that a Pontotoc County preacher's son would ultimately wind up working for the church.

He began his career in Greenville, Mississippi, and has made those he worked with seem like family.

Teresa Gregory worked as a teacher under Tutor during his tenure at Tupelo's Thomas Street Elementary School where he was principal.

"The main thing I would like people to know about him is that he has always had a love of children, a love of family, and a love of God," said Gregory.

"He's always at Thomas Street. We had such a great school. It was because he was such a great leader," she continued.

Tutor played on two championship basketball teams at Itawamba Community College in the 1960s, and it taught him the value of teamwork and a common purpose.

He says having the right players can make an administrator's job much easier.

"There are two or three things in administration that good administrators do. Number one, they surround themselves with people who have other talents and skills that you do not have, and I think that I have done that," Tutor continued.

Tutor moved to Tupelo in 1971 when he became principal of Thomas Street Elementary School.

He has been director of the Hancock Leadership Center since its opening in 1994.
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