Since 1994, Dr. Larry Drawdy has been the boss at Biloxi schools, but Drawdy says it's the dedicated teachers and administrators who guided the district to the top academic grade, level five.
"Quality, superior teachers and excellent principals and assistants and the staff at this school district have brought that around and that is probably the most crowning achievement."
Drawdy has seen many achievements. A 29 million dollar bond issue passed in 1999 is paying for two new elementary schools and renovations to others. And the state of the art 31 million dollar high school is one of two new schools north of the Bay, where Biloxi is growing.
"We have over 19 foreign languages spoken in this school district. We have 450 to 500 ELL, that's English as a second language students that are here. We have such a cosmopolitan mixture of all children of all walks of life."
As he prepares for life after school, Drawdy says he is grateful that so many people shared his vision of making the Biloxi schools the best they can be.
"A lot of people believed in the same visions we had and the board had and all of us put together and it made it something that this community can be extremely proud of."
And now that he's reached that goal, Drawdy says it's time to give up education after 38 years and devote more time to his family and travel.
Biloxi School Board President Rick Stewart praises Dr. Drawdy, saying the children of Biloxi have greatly benefited from his public service. Drawdy's retirement is effective June 30. The school board will advertise both in-house and outside for a new superintendent.