Larry Pickett takes over helm at PLAS

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Features Editor

A tonic isn’t always easy to swallow, but the headmaster’s job at Pike Liberal Arts School was just the tonic Larry Pickett needed to rejuvenate him and put a hop in his step.

"Coming here was like taking a big dose of Geritol," Pickett said, laughing. "It provided me with the mental gymnastics to come here refreshed and ready to do what needs to be done. I came knowing what direction the board wants the school to go and I believe I can help them achieve their goals."

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Pickett came to Pike Liberal Arts School with some pretty big shoes to fill. He also left some pretty big shoes behind at Edgewood Academy.

Pickett served as headmaster of the academy for 30 years before accepting the headmaster’s position at PLAS which was vacated by Delaney Kervin’s retirement – after 30 years.

With Pickett at the helm, Edgewood Academy reached the pinnacle of the Alabama Independent School Association’s Class 2A schools in both academics and athletics.

The academy achieved "Blue Ribbon" status, won three state championships and received the President’s Award for academic excellence.

"Delaney and I are friends and he did an outstanding job here at Pike Liberal Arts," Pickett said. "He was a very good steward of the school’s money and he left the school in good shape, financially and otherwise. This school has a good reputation and I appreciate the outstanding job he did here, but, I’m not here to fill his shoes. I’m here to continue where he left off – to keep moving ahead."

Pickett said his goals are to increase the school’s physical plant and to upgrade the academic program by adding more advanced classes.

"We would also like to improve our food service, perhaps add a cafetorium," he said. "And, we would like to add extra classrooms, so we can get rid of the portable classrooms."

Pickett said some changes in academic programming for this year includes departmentalizing of grades 4 through 6 and adding

Spanish, computers and music in grades K through 6.

On the high school level, periods have been cut from seven to six and a half and students will have an opportunity to work on a school newspaper and take computer classes in grades 9 through 11 and advanced


Pickett said he has also made some changes in the student handbook, including the dress code and attendance requirements.

As a headmaster, Pickett said his strong suit is probably in the area of discipline.

"I don’t have patience with students who misbehave," he said. "I believe in a strong academic program and well-behaved students. We are going to keep everything positive and I am looking forward to a good first year. I’m excited about being here and I expect good things to happen."

Pickett is a native of Montevallo and is a graduate of the University of Montevallo.

He taught in the public school system in South Florida for six years and a year at a Montevallo high school before going to Edgewood Academy as head football coach.

He has two sons, ages 27 and 23. He and his wife live at Taylor Ridge.