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

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

“It’s been my honor for the past 46 years to serve the Archdiocese of Mobile. Serving 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 retire,” said Byrd. “I feel blessed to have been able to serve our Church these many years and I would like to thank my family and those I’ve worked with for their support. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life where I can travel and spend time with family and friends.  My prayers will be with Archbishop Rodi as he begins the search for my replacement.”

Byrd shared the news with Catholic school principals today. The Archdiocese has schools throughout Central and South Alabama as far north as Auburn to as far south as St. Patrick’s in Robertsdale. There is no word on who will replace Byrd next year.