"They overlooked my many mistakes," Dr. Ed Richardson said with a smile.
Despite those mistakes in the school of life, Dr. Ed Richardson managed to do it all over 43 years of public education. Teacher, principal, state superintendent of education and just recently retired as president of Auburn University.
"It's an honor to be selected by your peers. That's what I hope this hall of fame conveys, the importance of education. It's going to take strong leadership for us to stay competitive and hopefully I played a role in that," Richardson said.
Richardson joins former Baldwin County school superintendent Dr. Larry Newton in the hall of fame. Both men reflected on what they consider the pinnacle of their long careers.
"Our schools were in bad shape before I took over. We built 22 schools, added 33 wings and spent about $125 million dollars for the children of Baldwin County," Newton said.
"I chose to build a school in Auburn called the Early Education Center. It focused on kindergarten. It had parenting programs and so it brought in a lot of parents into education situations that otherwise wouldn't have been there before because of poverty and other issues," Richardson said.
The Troy University Board of Trustees started the Educational Leadership Hall of Fame 25 years ago. Since then 33 honorees have been enshrined. Today, the hall welcomed two more, inductees for the first time since 1994.
Dr. Richardson says he plans to spend part of his retirement writing a book about public education and the factors that caused its demise in many cases.