Longtime Itawamba County School Superintendent to retire

Trae Wiygul says he will miss daily interaction with staff and teachers who only want best for students

ITAWAMBA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – A  longtime school superintendent is getting ready to retire at the end of this semester.

Since he started as a teacher and coach at Mooreville High School in 1996, Trae Wiygul has had one overriding goal.

“Seeing kids continue to grow and excel and do great things,” Supt. Wiygul said.

Wiygul has been at Itawamba County Schools since 2000, quickly moving into administration.   Six years ago, he was named superintendent of the district.  It’s a big responsibility, overseeing nine campuses, with 3,400  students, 450 employees, and an annual budget of 34 million dollars.

His father, F G Wiygul Jr., was superintendent for five terms.

“It’s kind of been in our blood, as far as the admin role, I got an opportunity, took it, and enjoyed every single minute of it,” Wiygul said.

Wiygul was the first appointed superintendent for the county and says the time has come to close this chapter of his career.

“Me and my wife, talked about it, I’m big in prayer life, I prayed about it, you ask God for guidance, which direction need to go, and I felt an ease, hey, this is the year, 28 years, a good number, we are at a good place,” he said.

In the past two years, the district has achieved an A rating.   Also, Wiygul has a son who is a sophomore, and he wants to spend more time at ballgames and other extracurricular activities.

Wiygul also says he is looking forward to helping his successor, and he has some advice for the next superintendent.

“Make it a team effort, it has to be a team effort, one person cannot do this particular job, have to rely on teammates and staff.  Get out into the schools, talk with the kids,” Wiygul said.

Along with being named an A district, Wiygul says another main accomplishment as superintendent was the establishment of the district’s own School Resource Officers.

“I look at that not only as an administrator but as a parent, I feel more comfortable, knowing our kids are safe at school,” he said.

Wiygul says one of the biggest changes over the years has been the value placed on test scores.

“I’m not the biggest fan of the testing process, put way too much time into the process instead of letting teachers teach, like when I was in high school, enjoyment was a lot better then,”  Wiygul said.

Superintendent Wiygul has always been quick to share credit for the district’s success with faculty, staff, and teachers, whom he says encourage students to do better than expected and also prepare them for the real world.

Wiygul says he isn’t sure about his next career move after retirement, but he says he wouldn’t be surprised if it involved something in education.

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