Paul Joseph Sousa, 84, died Sunday, Oct. 10. He served as superintendent of the Mobile County School System from 1992 to 1998 and devoted a cumulative 36 years of his career in the school district.
According to Sousa’s obituary, while serving as superintendent in Mobile he helped resolve the 37-year Birdie Mae Davis lawsuit to end segregation in the school system; implemented the largest building program to date without increasing taxes; increased their bond rating from B to AAA; increased state test scores systemwide above the national average; and was selected as Alabama’s PTA Outstanding Superintendent of the Year.
A native of Pittsburgh and a longtime resident of Mobile, Sousa received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss., in 1962, a master’s degree in administration from the University of South Alabama in 1968, and an education specialist degree in administration from the University of Alabama in 1970.
Before being named superintendent, Sousa served as deputy superintendent of the Mobile County School System beginning in 1987.
After he retired from the Mobile County School System, he was employed by HOAR Construction as their program management education consultant for Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. He was the chief negotiator for forming Saraland City Schools, Satsuma City Schools and Chickasaw City Schools and served as interim superintendent for the Saraland and Chickasaw school systems.
A statement from the Saraland City School System stated, “The Saraland City School Board was saddened to hear of Mr. Paul Sousa’s passing. Mr. Sousa had a profound impact when he effectively led our system during a critical time of transition. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sousa family during this difficult time.”
A moment of silence was held for Sousa during the Mobile County Commission’s meeting Tuesday, Oct. 12.
Sousa is survived by his wife of 60 years, Judith Evans Sousa, daughter Kristen Sousa Pollard and her husband, James Edwin Pollard II, of Point Clear, nephews, nieces and other relatives. A celebration of life was held at Pinecrest Funeral Home’s chapel Wednesday, Oct. 13.
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