ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - He's been walking the halls of New Mexico schools for nearly 40 years. Wednesday, he walked them for the last time.
For many in the Albuquerque community, high school principal Tim McCorkle is an inspiration.
As principal, he's seen local high school teams to 61 district championships and four state titles, guided students towards brighter futures, and pulled Albuquerque High School out of a troubled gang state.
"Our kids are doing better, the staff is happy, the graduation rates are better, he's just done a phenomenal job with the school," AHS Assistant Principal Monica Olmsted said.
Wednesday, the long-time educator wrapped up his 39 year career. From students he's taught to teachers he's guided, droves of people showed up to say goodbye.
McCorkle began his career as a baseball coach at West Mesa High School in 1983.
Working his way up the ladder, he landed the role of principal at Albuquerque High in 2007.
Throughout his tenure he's seen a 23 percent increase in the school's graduation rate, obtained the title for best bilingual high school program in the nation, and brought the school into the future with new technology and upgraded computer labs.
Nevertheless, McCorkle won't take credit for his achievements without acknowledging those around him.
"Successful people are successful because they're in the right place at the right time and they have the right people working around them," McCorkle said. "I couldn't ask for anything better."
It's safe to say that for many students, McCorkle was the right person.
So what's next for this well-liked coach, role model and educator?
"I'm just gonna go with the flow, I'm a free agent," he said.
McCorkle spent 25 years at West Mesa High, then moved briefly to Sandia High where he spent three years.
He spent the rest of his career at Albuquerque High.