Emerald Coast Middle School has a new principal who says it all about the kids.

Originally from Snellville, Georgia, Todd Drake brings 15 years of educational experience to the table and is excited to get to work with his new staff to pave the way toward success for each of his new students.

“What makes this school tick, truly, are three main things: great kids, great parents and great teachers,” Drake said. “We are going to continue to create the best school possible by improving our performance every year by using the strengths of our great teachers, great students and great parents.”

The family man spent 13 years teaching in the Gwinnett County school district in Georgia and his last two years as the assistant principal at Van R. Butler Elementary School in Santa Rosa Beach.

While at Butler Elementary, Drake oversaw two of his three children and he looks forward to them joining the Stingrays.

“It was the greatest thing ever,” Drake said. “At any point in time during the day, I could walk out of my office and see one of my three kids and it absolutely changes your whole experience.”

Drake has an athletic background and played baseball at Augusta University as a first baseman before getting a master’s degree in communications and teaching certificates from the University of Georgia.

He’s taught math, history and students with special-needs and behavioral disorders.

“I loved teaching middle school math,” Drake said. “It was always special to see the students make the connections between the content and the real world.”

When he’s not busy preparing for the 2018 school year to start, Drake takes trips to beach, works out, plays the guitar and spends time with his family.

He said he's excited to begin this new chapter in his life and looks forward to helping Emerald Coast Middle School be the best it can be. Classes start on Aug. 10.