Cold Springs’ Burleson celebrates retirement after nearly 30 years

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Retiring Cold Springs Principal Tim Burleson poses for a photo Sunday at a reception in his honor. (Heather Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN, Ala. – After 28 years of serving at Cold Springs High School, Timothy Burleson celebrated his retirement with the community and other faculty members Sunday afternoon.

Burleson spent the first 19 years at Cold Springs in the classroom, where he taught subjects like science, history, health and P.E. He eventually became assistant principal, keeping the position for three years before finishing the rest of his career as principal. He also coached basketball for 21 of his 28 years at the school.

During the festivities, Burleson gave a short speech thanking his family for their support, then thanking his colleagues and friends for all the time they’ve had together at the school.

“It’s a tough job,” he said. “In this day and time, the only discipline – now it’s not the case for everybody, but it’s the case for many of the kids we see – the only discipline and accountability that they see comes from that school over there. They don’t get it at home, so it makes the teachers’ job tough, but it’s a rewarding job. You all mean a lot to me.”

He also gave a few words of advice to his successor, Eric Dickerson, saying, “When you make your decisions about these kids, if you make your decision not out of anger or malice then you can go with it. Also, have a thick skin and stay off of social media.”

He finished the speech by telling his colleagues, with a smile, they are more than welcome to call him if they ever need help, just call a little later in the morning.

As the party started to wind down, Burleson sat down with The Tribune to reflect on nearly three decades of service to the school.

“This was my first job, (the) only job I’ve ever had. Got it right out of college,” he commented. “I was just very lucky that I found a place that I loved. Not many people can say they’ve been in one place for that long because they get unhappy for whatever reason, but that was just not the case here.”

What are some of your best memories or most memorable moments from the job?

“When students come back and they tell you that, you know, that you’d made a difference, you’d treated them fairly and you treated them right. Those always stand out. As far as accomplishments or achievements, a highlight of the coaching part would have to be going to the finals.”

What are your plans for the future?

“I’m going to be working part-time at St. Bernard. I’ll be going back to coaching basketball again, teaching health and a couple of P.E. classes. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a full retirement.”

What can you tell us about your successor?

“Eric Dickerson. I know him very well; he actually played on one of my basketball teams. He’s taught at Cold Springs for probably 12 or 13 years, and he’s been my assistant principal for the last three. I know he’s going to do an outstanding job.”

Burleson smiled, “I’ve enjoyed my time at Cold Springs, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other place in the world.”

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Heather Mann for The Cullman Tribune
Heather Mann for The Cullman Tribune
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Heather Mann

heather@cullmantribune.com