While he's excited about what the future may hold, Grandview Heights High School guidance counselor Joe Connors admits he has some mixed feelings about retiring.

While he's excited about what the future may hold, Grandview Heights High School guidance counselor Joe Connors admits he has some mixed feelings about retiring.

"It feels really good to retire, but it sure is tough to leave Grandview," he said. "But I knew it was time to try something new.

"I told (Superintendent Ed O'Reilly) in my letter I submitted to him that it's been a distinct privilege and honor to work in this district," Connors said. "Grandview is an amazing place with wonderful students, teachers and community. I feel lucky to have spent the last 32 years here."

Connors retired earlier this month.

After an initial stint teaching at Bishop Watterson High School, Connors came to Grandview in 1979, first as an occupational work adjustment teacher and, since 1985, working as a guidance counselor.

But a career in education "happened purely as accident," Connors said.

He had majored in clinical psychology in college and was preparing to enter in that field when an acquaintance who was a high school principal asked him if he would be interested in filling a teaching position temporarily.

"I fell in love with teaching, right from the start, and I knew that's what I wanted to do," Connors said.

"It was the excitement and reward of working with young people that propelled me to stay in education," Connors said. "You feed off that."

Working with high school students and helping them address the situations and problems that arise offers unbeatable personal rewards and satisfaction, he said.

The students in Grandview are special, and so are their parents, Connors said.

"I've been so lucky because the parents in Grandview are so involved in their children's education," he said. "Boy, that makes a guidance counselor's job a lot easier."

As do the excellent teachers, administrators and school board members he has served with, Connors said.

"I hold them in the highest esteem," he said. "It's been a privilege to work with so many dedicated people.

"As I said, I've been very lucky."

Connors said he doesn't know what he will be doing during his retirement, but he won't be idle.

"I'm one of those people, I have to keep doing something. I don't know what it will be yet," he said. "I can't imagine just 'being retired.'"