MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Mobile has announced he is retiring at the end of the school year.

Gwen Bird has been superintendent for almost 40 years and has served the archdiocese for 46 years in various capacities. She was recently honored for her leadership by the National Catholic Education Association and was also inducted into the McGill-Toolen Hall of Fame.

“It has been my honor for the past 46 years to serve the Archdiocese of Mobile. Having served 40 of those years as Superintendent of Catholic Schools, I feel it is time to pass the torch to someone else. So at the end of this school year I will be retiring,” Byrd said. “I feel blessed to have been able to serve our Church for so many years and would like to thank my family and those I have worked with for their support. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life where I can travel and spend time with my family and friends. My prayers will be with Archbishop Roddy as he begins the search for my replacement.”

Byrd shared the news with Catholic school principals today. The archdiocese has schools in Central and South Alabama as far north as Auburn to as far south as St. Patrick in Robertsdale. No word on who will replace Byrd next year.