Corpus Christi Independent School District Superintendent Scott Elliff spoke out Tuesday for the first time since he announced his plans to retire in September.

"The simplest reason I guess I can give is because I can. I've reached the age now where I'm eligible for retirement," Elliff said. "This probably seems sudden to everybody in the community, but it's something I've been considering for the last eight months or so. So the suddenness of the announcement yesterday isn't reflective of the amount of time I've spent thinking about it."

Elliff has been with the CCISD since 1983. The 55-year old has been superintendent since 2006.

The superintendent believes he is leaving the district in good condition, but says there will be challenges for his successor.

"The biggest challenge for us is academic performance at our schools that did not meet the new state standards under our new accountability system," Elliff said. "Academic performance should always be our top priority, and we have some campuses working diligently. I see that as our biggest challenge and priority."

Elliff's last day on the job will be Sept. 30.