Gary Braudaway, who has been praised by many for his work to save Poly, is retiring after 29 years in the Fort Worth school district.
"I've been praying on it for two years," Braudaway said. "I know it is time now. In my heart, I know. But I'm very proud of the work we've accomplished at Poly."
Poly was on the brink of being forced closed by the state because of chronically low test scores. Braudaway, who had been principal for five years (pictured at right in the orange shirt), was credited by students, staff and the community for building a family environment at the school that they said help drive dramatic gains on test scores to help improve the school.
"He's always motivating everyone to do our best," student DeAndre Reed said in 2010 of Braudaway. "It's because of him that our school is where we are today."
In 2010, Braudaway was one of 10 principals in the state to be a finalist for the H-E-B Excellence in Education awards, nominated because of his work at Poly. However, last year the school did dip down to an unacceptable rating again because of low school completion rates, the number of students who graduate on time or continue into school a fifth year.
Braudaway said he had no set plans for retirement yet but does plan to be on campus often. Trustees appointed current Riverside Middle School principal Daniel Scroggins as his replacement. Scroggins (at far right in the picture) has been with the district 25 years.