Growing up in the housing projects of Fort Myers, Robert L. Codie knew he wanted more out of life, regardless of any odds stacked against him.

As one of the youngest administrators in the school district’s history, Codie now leads more than 1,200 employees and oversees a $57 million budget. But he needed to trust in his decision-making to get to this point.

“One major challenge I have had to overcomes is a fear of failure,” Codie says. “It took me about four years to realize that failure is just a building block to success. I was so afraid of failing that I overanalyzed every scenario in both my personal and professional life.”

He overcame it—just like other obstacles in his life—while staying humble and true to his roots.

“Having an ego or a sense of entitlement is not an option for me because the community I grew up in will not allow it,” he says. “It only takes one drive through my old neighborhood to remind me of where I come from, where I want to go and what it will take to get there.”

Codie and his wife have three girls. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and going to the beach. Robert is a cigar aficionado and also enjoys writing.