Quincy -- District Three Florida Senator Bill Montford was named Rural Education Legislator of the Year today by the Board of Directors of the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC) at their regular board meeting in Quincy, Florida. The PAEC board, made up of 14 northwest Florida school superintendents, honored Montford for his unwavering support of students, teachers, and school leaders in the small, rural school districts in the consortium.

In making the announcement, PAEC Board Chairman, Washington County School Superintendent Joe Taylor, said, “Senator Montford was elected to the senate in 2010 as small districts across the state were tasked with dealing with a tough economy. But, through his leadership and support for the rural schools in Florida, we faced our challenges knowing that we had a colleague and friend supporting us in Tallahassee”.

Montford, who serves on the Senate’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K-12, is a former math teacher, school administrator, and served as Leon County School Superintendent before his Senate election in 2010. He was born in Jackson County but spent much of his life in Calhoun County before moving to Tallahassee as a teacher.

Montford played a key role in funding multiple new schools for PAEC districts, increasing technology spending, and bringing a strong voice to the legislative process through his concurrent role as CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS).

PAEC, founded in 1967 as a regional educational service center, serves member school districts of Calhoun, FAMU DRS, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington counties, as well as other school districts throughout Florida that participate in select services.