Retiring Mars Superintendent William Pettigrew won an award presented to educators who strive to improve the quality of rural education. The Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools presented Pettigrew with the Rural Educator of the Year award recently. As a reward, one student in the school district will receive a one-time $2,000 scholarship. Pettigrew said Friday that he's been involved with the group for more than 30 years and currently serves as the association's treasurer. It's a nice recognition for the superintendent, who will retire in December after more than 40 years in public education. “I think it's quite an honor,” he said. “It's a big honor to be recognized by my peers.” Pettigrew is one of the longest serving superintendents in the state after serving for 26 years at Mars. He's seen plenty of students and parents come and go and has been responsible for the education of tens of thousands of students. But that doesn't mean he's expecting accolades or awards for his time. “I'm not expecting anything,” he said. “I'm just appreciative of my time here at Mars.” Pettigrew said he sent a certain set of criteria to the high school, where a student will be picked to receive the $2,000 scholarships. While the superintendent doesn't directly pick the student, Pettigrew will have a limited amount of input into who's selected. Pettigrew and the scholarship recipient will be honored at the PARSS annual meeting on April 25 in State College. A representative from PARSS did not respond to calls for comment.