BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — Education leaders in Beaufort County say their schools are on the right track, and the man in charge has a lot to do with that.

Dr. Frank Rodriguez, Beaufort County Schools Superintendent, just received a 5% salary increase and a vote of support for the entire district.

“Our goal as a board of education is to improve student achievement so instructional leadership is very very important so he is very much focused on that,” Dr. Christina Gwozdz, Board of Education chair, said of Dr. Rodriguez.

In his three years, Rodriguez helped move county teacher salaries from 40th in the state to 1st – which has resulted in a 5% increase in teacher retention.

“Educators love what they do. But they also have to pay bills,” said Dr. Rodriguez.

“The way you are going to attract and retain teachers is the way they are paid is very important,” echoed Dr. Gwozdz.

The District now boasts that 76% of its high school seniors were “college or career ready” and 86% were expected to finish school “on time”, which means in four years or less.

And while he gets kudos for bringing Beaufort County through the pandemic, the after-effects are still being felt. This is why Rodriguez created more options for kids to learn after school to help them catch up.

“Students, unfortunately, have had a significant amount of loss of learning in Beaufort and the United States and so he’s put together different instructional programs to get students back where they should be,” said Dr. Gwozdz.

The Board proved they believe Rodriguez is right where he should be — as the leader of Beaufort County schools.