Hundreds crowded into First Unity Church in St. Petersburg on Saturday to remember and honor Vyrle Davis.
The "lifelong educator" rose through the education ranks to become principal of St. Petersburg High School and later the first black area superintendent of Pinellas County.
Mr. Davis also founded Ebony Scholars in 1984, a motivational program that helped black students stay on a college-bound course.
"Vyrle Davis reached out, and Vyrle Davis made a difference," said Dr. Kanika Tomalin, vice president of Strategic Planning & Public Affairs at Bayfront Health System, and former Ebony Scholar who spoke at the funeral.
"He taught us early that simply measuring up was not good enough, that our goals must always exceed expectations. He was a general of an army of angel educators."
Mr. Davis passed away on Feb. 1. He was 76.