AUTHOR: STAFF

HED:Pearl assistant principal to be Corinth principal

PEARL - Joel Myrick, the Pearl High School assistant principal recognized for his cool handling of a student gunman in 1997, has a new job as principal at Corinth High School.

Myrick subdued Luke Woodham after Woodham killed fellow students Christina Menefee and Lydia Dew and wounded seven others in the commons area of the school on Oct. 1, 1997.

In Corinth, Myrick replaces Harold Smith, who served more than 38 years in the Corinth school district, including the last 26 years as Corinth High principal.

Myrick spent three years as assistant principal at Pearl High. The commander of the Mississippi National Guard's 631st Field Artillery Brigade based in Grenada said he also will seek to improve security at Corinth High.

I have to consider him as a hero,'' Pearl Superintendent Bill Dodson said of Myrick's actions in 1997. He acted bravely to prevent further loss of life.''

Myrick pulled the then 16-year-old Woodham from his vehicle as he was leaving the school and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. He said he's ready to put it all behind him.

"It gets kind of tiring when you meet people and you tell them you are an administrator at Pearl High and they ask you if you were there that day or ask you if you were the assistant principal who caught Woodham,'' Myrick said. I enjoyed my time at Pearl, but I am ready to distance myself from that day."

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