Bill Montford Says Good-Bye

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Cleaning out an office with more than 35 years of memories is the task before William Jonas Montford III, Superintendent of Leon County Schools.

"I'm excited, a little sad, but very excited," said Bill Montford.

July 6 will be Montford's last day as the superintendent. He announced last May, due to health reasons, he would leave the office he's held for 10 years and try out a new career as CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, which has its headquarters in Tallahassee.

Montford added, "I hate to say good-bye. It's been a wonderful ride. I've been blessed."

Now with just hours left in his career with Leon County schools, Montford is taking a fond look back.

"I'll remember the most working with the young people, the students, the parents, the teachers and others in the school. When you're around young people, you meet so many wonderful people."

Soon to be former employees and forever friends are also in a reminiscent mood.

Dr. Jim Croteau will be the interim superintendent until an election can be help to find a new superintendent.

He said, "We are all going to miss Bill Montford. He is very special, not just as an administrator, but as a personal friend to a lot of folks, and that's going to be the hardest thing to replace."

"We're losing a great teacher, a great principal, a great superintendent and a good friend. Everyone loves Bill Montford," added longtime friend and Leon County Schools employee Dot Rackley.

Soon his office will be empty and Bill Montford will be on his way.

"You walk away a little reluctantly and somewhat slowly. It's taken some nudges just to get me out the door. If you look at my office, you can tell I'm not in any hurry to vacate this office, but it's time. It's time," said Montford.