He’s starting off right

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Lydia Grimes | The Brewton Standard Eric Andrews sits behind his desk Monday as he gets ready to start his day.

Lydia Grimes | The Brewton Standard
Eric Andrews sits behind his desk Monday as he gets ready to start his day.

Andrews named new WSN Elementary principal

W.S. Neal Elementary School opened with a new principal when classes began this school session.

Eric T. Andrews is not new to this area. He has been the senior pastor of Baptist Hill Baptist Church on Sowell Road for the past eight years.

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“Although I don’t live in Brewton, I feel as if I do,” Andrews said. “I have been coming down here for a long time to pastor the church, but now I have another reason to drive down here from Burnt Corn.”

Andrews has worn many different hats getting to where he is today. In addition to his career in education, he has been a church pastor and a deputy sheriff, patrolling with both the Monoreville Police Department and the Beatrice Police Department.

He was born at Peterman in Monroe County and now lives in Burnt Corn. He attended school in the Monroe County School System; Beatrice Elementary School, Monroeville Junior High School and graduated from J.F. Shields High School in Beatrice.

He entered the U.S. Army in 1990 and served on active duty for four years. He then spent two more years in the Alabama National Guard.

He began working with youth and realized he wanted to work in the ministry and was ordained in 1995.

Between 1999 and 2015, Andrews earned a bachelor’s degree in science, elementary education (1999); a master’s degree in education, school counseling (2006); a master’s degree, instructional leadership (2013) and educational specialist, instructional leadership in 2015, all at Alabama State University  in Montgomery. He also received his master’s degree in arts in Christian ministry from the University of Mobile in 2016.

During the same time he taught school and served as counselor at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, Evergreen Junior High School and Repton Junior High School, all in Conecuh County; and Monroe County High School, in Monroe County. In 2014 he became assistant principal at Escambia County High School in Atmore, until he moved here to be the new principal at W.S.N. Elementary School.

“I love the kids,” he said. “Most of the time I was either teaching or counseling the younger children. Every school is different, but I want to work at it a while before making any big changes.

“Sometimes there is no need  to make any changes at all.,” he said. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Most of my teaching has been with the elementary age students, so I am right where I want to be. I am looking forward to working with the younger kids again.”

Andrews’ wife, Teresa, is also a teacher. She teaches at Evergreen Elementary School. The couple has six children; one is working, one is a senior in high school, two are in college at A&M at Huntsville, and a set of twins who are still in elementary school.

“We still live in Monroe County, at Burnt Corn,” he said. “The commute is not bad and we love to live there.”

Andrews is the senior pastor at Baptist Hill Baptist Church here in Brewton and has been for eight years.

Before that, he served as pastor at Second Marietta Baptist Church in Castleberry, and at Antioch Baptist Church in Monroeville.

Andrews said when he has the time, he loves to hunt and fish, but with all of his commitments, he doesn’t get to do that as much as he would like. For someone who is as involved as much as he is, it’s a wonder he ever gets any chance.