At his final meeting before retirement, Glenn Rodger, the council’s director of education, was given a standing ovation by elected members.
Mr Rodger arrived at the council in 2002. His first job was to tackle a £4million black hole in the department’s budget.
Twelve years on, Mr Rodger’s early retirement prompted councillors to give him a rousing farewell.
“My 12 years as director of education and lifelong learning in the Scottish Borders has been the highlight of my professional career,” said Mr Rodger.
“It is the people around you that make things happen and I am fortunate to have been surrounded by excellent staff both in schools and in the education department.
“That being the case, I am sure that education in the Borders will continue to go from strength to strength in the future.”
Council convener, Councillor Graham Garvie, said: “Glenn Rodger has dedicated his career to improving the education of children and has been a superb director of education and lifelong learning for the people of the Scottish Borders.
“He has been consistently bold in his thinking but has always sought to include teachers, parents and pupils in his vision for better education in the Borders.
“Whether at public meetings, face to face individual meetings, or giving advice to councillors, Glenn’s professional and approachable style has never failed to impress.”