Assistant Superintendent Barb Harrison announced last week that she will retire July 1 from the Canal Winchester school district after a 38-year-career in education.
Thirty-six of those years have been spent in Canal Winchester.
"It has been an absolute passion to serve this district, the students, the staff and this community. It's the best," Harrison said.
"It's truly been a labor of love," she added. "I feel I have been blessed with all of the people I have worked with. I thank you all for the opportunity to have been able to serve you."
Harrison came to Canal Winchester schools in 1978 as a physical education teacher. Over the years, she coached high school varsity basketball, volleyball and track and field and served as a middle school principal.
Her work in the district and the community earned her a spot in 1976 in the Canal Winchester Hall of Fame. In 1984, Harrison was promoted to the position of athletics director. Seven years later, she was named director of student activities.
School board member Michael Yonnotti said he began teaching in the district the same year that Harrison started her career.
"She was an exceptional coach, an exceptional teacher. Barb Harrison is the best Canal Winchester has," Yonnotti said.
Superintendent Jim Sotlar, who has worked with Harrison for about 15 months, called her a mentor because of her knowledge, experiences and history with the district.
"She's an absolute great person to work with. She is definitely going to be missed," Sotlar said. "I'm very sad, but very happy for her."