LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — As students head back to school, three Sheriff’s from surrounding counties reunite with their former teachers in Louisville.
At one time Sheriff’s, Mike Arledge, Steve Gladney and Jason Pugh wore backpacks instead of badges and took orders from teachers.
Now, the men are sharing their success stories with former teachers and coaches in their home town.
“This is my community and I work in this community but I really enjoy getting to visit for a few minutes, especially with my Sheriffs from Oktibbeha and Lowndes and to get to see some of the teachers that I had some good memories with it,” says Jason Pugh.
Winston County Sheriff Jason Pugh graduated from Louisville High in 1990.
Pugh’s 5th grade reading teacher, Paula Fulton knew then had a heart to serve others.
“Just done such a good job, especially during this tornado period because he is a first time Sheriff but he’s just… besides losing his own home he’s just done so much to help other people,” says Paula Fulton.
As Oktibbeha County Sheriff Steve Gladney shares his department’s success, he can’t help but think of those who taught him all he knows.
“Louisville is a special place for me. I grew up here, went to school here and got a lot of friends here and I owe a lot to these teachers in this room today trying to help me on the straight path,” says Steve Gladney.
Like, Gladney, Lowndes County Sheriff Mike Arledge owes his success to a former educator who made an early impact on his life.
“Probably be coach Wylie that we talked about earlier because he was my coach in football and one of my teachers and we got very close at a young age,” says Mike Arledge.
And Coach Tommie Joe Wylie hopes his advice inspired every student he came across.
“When I coached and taught I always said you excel to be the best. Doesn’t matter what you do. If you dig the best ditch you can. Do the best job you can and they achieved that,” says Tommie Joe Wylie.
While they may not have realized it at the time, these Sheriff’s now know and are telling others about the impact teachers have on a child’s future.
Arledge, Gladney and Pugh were all elected Sheriff in their counties on the same night and took office within hours of each other in 2013.