Tiny Talbot, a giant of a man, is still missed by many who knew him. He was a husband and father, active in many community and civic groups. He was the superintendent of schools in Alachua County during the time of desegregation. As superintendent, he worked to modernize the school system and to insure that desegregation proceeded as smoothly as possible. Previously, he had served as principal of Gainesville High School. He also served a term as a Gainesville city commissioner. An army sergeant gave him his nickname of “Tiny.” Talbot Elementary School was named after him. He served two terms as superintendent of schools, from 1965 to 1972, and was a member of the City Commission and the Regional Utilities Board from 1973 to 1976.
Mr. Talbot was Alachua County's last elected superintendent. Mr. Talbot himself decided that an appointed superintendent was best for Alachua County and helped convince Alachua County voters to approve the changeover.
In 1984, the Alachua County School Board named a new elementary school in northwest Gainesville after Mr. Talbot, fulfilling a promise made more than 10 years earlier. When he stepped down as superintendent in 1972, the board had resolved to name a school for him. Gainesville High's baseball field also is dedicated to Mr. Talbot.
Mr. Talbot, tagged with the nickname "Tiny" by an Army sergeant during his ROTC cadet days, was born in Altha, Florida and had lived in Gainesville for 50 years. He was a graduate of the University of Florida and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
After the war, he returned to Gainesville as a teacher and coach at Gainesville High School, and served as dean of boys and assistant principal from 1946 to 1953. He then was a principal for two years at Sidney Lanier Elementary School, for three years at Buchholz Junior High and for six years at Gainesville High. He directed curriculum for the Alachua County school system until he was elected superintendent.
After he stepped down from the superintendent's job, he became principal of Kirby Smith Elementary School and then vocational coordinator at Gainesville High. He retired Oct. 31, 1980.
-Adapted from the Gainesville Sun