In His Own Words: Escambia School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas On Retirement

November 15, 2020

by Malcolm Thomas, Escambia School District Superintendent

This will be the last opportunity to write to you as the Escambia County School Superintendent. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving as the Superintendent of Schools for the past 12 years.

In 2008 when I contemplated becoming the Escambia Superintendent of Schools, I knew I was facing a huge elephant, but I also realized that there is only one way to eat an elephant – one bite at a time. Transforming education is a huge undertaking, which requires systemic and methodical progress. Such transformation takes time, and does not occur in an instant.

Now, as I approach my final workday before retirement, the landscape is markedly improved in so many areas: student achievement, technological resources, facility improvements, and graduation rates – just to name a few.

Because of the support of so many, our district is in a much better position than when we began this journey twelve years ago. It has been the collaborative efforts of both district and community stakeholders, embracing the vision and assisting the push for progress, that has made the difference.

Together, our district has made incredible achievements in the pursuit of student excellence. The dedication and professionalism of district employees humbles me. It has been my honor to serve alongside so many consummate professionals. This district is blessed with many wonderful, dedicated, and talented people who put the best interest of students first.

The shared vision of creating a district where parents want to send their children, where students want to learn, where teachers want to teach and where employees want to work has been integral in moving our district forward. Continued efforts to move forward will mean even more amazing outcomes for our students.

There is much to celebrate. Simply look back to any School Board meeting or review the press releases on the district web site and you will see accomplishments that should make the entire community proud. Students are taking advantage of opportunities to become the best they can be. However, there is much work that remains to be done and new challenges are on the horizon.

As I leave the district, so many of the relationships and experiences will remain in my mind and heart as a new chapter of my life unfolds. The Escambia County Public School District will always have my support, and I look forward to watching the next period of progress.

Our students have brought me great joy and happiness. It is with them in mind that I encourage each of you to join me in supporting the next Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Timothy Smith. He will be assuming the Office of Superintendent while accompanied by a great district team, to begin the next phase of success for our students.

I wish each of you the best in the future.
May God bless you all!

Malcolm Thomas
Superintendent, Escambia School District

Pictured: Malcolm Thomas was selected as Florida’s 2019 Superintendent of the Year by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. Photo for, click to enlarge.


21 Responses to “In His Own Words: Escambia School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas On Retirement”

  1. Joe Noplis on November 24th, 2020 1:16 pm

    Mr. Thomas,

    I just wanted to drop you a quick note and say Hi and hope you and your family are doing great in 2020. I think about you often, and once again want to say Thanks for being one of the most positive and influential people in my life.
    I’m just one person you have touched and inspired to be better than I (we) thought I (we) could be. My wife Teri who’ve I been married to now for 34 years and I now live in Ft. Myers Florida. All three of my kids are successful and love God.
    We now have a Granddaughter (Stella) who is now 18 Months old. Blessed beyond what we deserve.

    May God Bless You and keep you safe!

  2. Jeff Howard on November 18th, 2020 9:10 pm

    Well done, my brother. Enjoy your retirement. I pray for God’s continued blessings.

  3. L. B. on November 18th, 2020 2:41 pm

    Congratulation on your retirement Mr. Thomas.
    Well deserved, enjoy your time off. No Work, No Headaches,
    No Students, No Parents, No Employees, No Meetings, No Phone calls,
    and the list goes on (smile). Enjoy!!!!!

  4. Michele on November 16th, 2020 2:40 pm

    Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement. You have done an outstanding job, and I appreciate your dedicated service to our community.

  5. Bonnie Exner on November 15th, 2020 10:17 pm

    I was hired as a Language Arts teacher at WEDGEWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL with J.D. BUD HALL as our superintendent..and retired at RANSOM MIDDLE teaching Civics in 2004 and have served under 6 different superintendents. I have seen much growth and many changes in public education nationally and in Florida..but the one constant element is that it takes a village to educate
    a child…parents, extended family members,teachers,support staff,administrators, school board members and superintendents…and you, Mr. Thomas, rate high on my list of making a positive impact in the lives of our is your time to rest and enjoy the fruits of your labor..GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS!

  6. PHILANA BONNER on November 15th, 2020 8:21 pm

    You will truly be missed….enjoy your retirement!! Your voice will be missed on my voicemail of professionalism to our children.

  7. Dorothy Brown on November 15th, 2020 7:11 pm

    Thank you for your service to Escambia County, Florida. You have served well. Thank you for showing how much you care for children. At all times you demonstrated professionalism. Take care and continue to be blessed. “One of the greatest Superintendents” ever! Enjoy your retirement.

  8. Ann Pierce on November 15th, 2020 5:25 pm

    Mr. Thomas,
    It has been a pleasure to work under you as a teacher of ECSD. You have done an amazing job over the past 12 years, though I am sure it was not always easy you stayed positive and focused on what was best for our students of Escambia County. You always made yourself visible to the public eye by attend extra curricular activities, community events and even visiting classrooms when invited. I recall a community event when I was chatting with you (actually just prior to the 2016 election) and you made a comment, “that after all of this is over (being superintendent) I will still have my faith” that really hit home with me and impressed me more than any thing else you have said or done over the past 12 years. You were proud of your faith in God and you did not have a problem showing it or care who knew it. You shared your faith many times at various speaking engagements and you always turned to God during the good and bad / tough times throughout your career and to me that is what made you so successful. You will be missed but now its time for your to put your focus on God and your family and enjoy your retirement, you have earned it!! May God put a special blessing over your and Sandra as this new chapter of your lives begin. Thank you for a job well done. God Bless you!

  9. Sheila Carnley on November 15th, 2020 3:16 pm

    Thank you for your service , all my kids and grandbabies love Malcom Thomas.. God b e with you.

  10. Julia Hart on November 15th, 2020 2:05 pm

    Thank you for doing a wonderful job for our students. I appreciate all you have for this county! Enjoy your retirement!

  11. Anna Pierce on November 15th, 2020 2:02 pm

    Congrats on your retirement. Good Luck in everything you do.

  12. Jim Hamilton on November 15th, 2020 12:49 pm

    Mr. Superintendent it has been an honor to work with you these past 12 years. We moved here the year before you were elected and brought our family with us. Our grandchildren have flourished in zoned district schools and the two oldest are well prepared for life. Both turned their Escambia education into Masters Degrees with honors from the Florida State University. In your twelve years I have had the opportunity to work with over 40 Florida school districts. I know that sometimes the folks at home don’t know it, but we have been blessed with a great Superintendent and School Board, all of whom have worked together as a team serving students. Thank you for your hard work and leadership.

  13. Debbie on November 15th, 2020 12:46 pm

    Thank you Mr. Thomas for a job well done . You have served the school district of Escambia County Fl. very nicely now go and enjoy your own family a little more .
    Once again thank you sir .

  14. Elizabeth Duncan on November 15th, 2020 10:47 am

    Thank you for your service to our schools. Have a blessed retirement.

  15. Bigblock345 on November 15th, 2020 10:37 am

    Thank you Mr. Thomas. For your dedication and hard work. For all the times you’ve taken to talk to my dad. Both on the phone and in person. Whenever he had a question, or a complaint. You sir will be missed.

  16. Anne on November 15th, 2020 9:30 am

    Mr Thomas, you have truly been a beacon of light leading the district through some rough patches.
    Thank you for your professionalism and the pure dedication of doing good things for all the right reasons for our district and the world to come.
    You are an amazing leader and outstanding person, you are a Good Godly Man.
    Thanik you and God Speed as you move into the next life chapter.

  17. Pastor Buford Lipscomb on November 15th, 2020 8:43 am

    Thanks for your caring and professional leadership over these past 12 years. And on behalf of my children and grand children that attend or have graduated from The District. You have provided them with great academic opportunity as well as a safe environment. You have much to be proud if. And we are proud of you. You finished well!

  18. Ciarra M on November 15th, 2020 8:13 am

    Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for our kids you will truly be missed

  19. dbrown on November 15th, 2020 7:33 am

    I think you have done a great job ive had 4 kids and 2 grand kid graduate under you thanks for a job well done with this generation I would have retired early Thanks for hanging in there.

  20. Robin A Camoosa on November 15th, 2020 7:11 am

    Thank you Malcom Thomas

  21. Southern girl on November 15th, 2020 3:33 am

    Thank you for your dedication to serve all these years. You have done a tremendous job. You will be missed.

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