Clinton School District Superintendent Phil Burchfield will retire in 2017, the district announced Thursday.

Burchfield has been in public education 42 years, and has served as superintendent in Clinton since 2008.

“My career has been both exciting and rewarding, allowing me the privilege and honor to serve in three Mississippi school districts,” Burchfield said in a press release. “Without question, the most fulfilling are the 26 years spent serving the boys and girls of the Clinton Public School District as an assistant principal, principal and superintendent.”

Clinton is one of 14 school districts rated ‘A’ by the state education department in its 2015-2016 accountability ratings.

Under Burchfield’s leadership, enrollment grew, the district passed a bond issue for new buildings and upgrades, and the district became a 1:1 technology district in 2013, making sure every student had a device that would provide access to the internet.

The district has been recognized for its health and wellness initiatives and has hosted First Lady Michelle Obama and celebrity chef Rachel Ray to kick off Obama’s “Let’s Move!” anniversary tour.

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Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.