"Today with a little bit of sadness, but mostly with gratitude and excitement, I would like to announce my plans to step down as superintendent," said Montford during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
After more than three decades of service in Leon County, Superintendent Bill Montford is resigning as the county's top educator.
"In nearly 10 years as superintendent I am proud of what we have accomplished together as a community, as a team for our school system, but especially for our children.”
Sheila Costigan said it’s a sad day for the county.
"Anyone who knows Bill Montford knows that he is an unstoppable, powerful force, and it’s really gonna be hard for us."
School board chairman Fred Varn praises Leon County for its success, which he says is shown by the district's FCAT scores.
"He's done a great job as superintendent and his shoes are gonna be hard to fill, and the board is gonna miss his leadership."
School board member Maggie Lewis said she's full of emotion.
"It's bitter and sad and happy. I'm happy that he's able to move on to a different level and at the same time still looking out for children."
Like high school seniors graduating and moving on to college, Montford said this is his transitional step, entering a new chapter of his life.
"I have accepted a most generous offer to become the next chief executive officer of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. The really good news is I'll get to stay right here in Tallahassee with my family and friends and remain close to the school system that I really love."
Montford's official date of resignation is July 6, but he says because he'll be able to stay in Tallahassee with his new job and he'll still be involved with education here in Leon County.
On June 7 Gov. Bush will appoint an interim superintendent who will serve until Montford's successor is sworn in.
There will be an election for Leon County voters to choose a new superintendent. The primaries will be in September, and then a general election in November.