A longtime Okotoks educator will soon be retiring.

After 32 years in education, most of it with Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools (CTR), Mariette Moss will be retiring in late June.

She got her start with the Calgary Catholic School District, though less than a year later, she took up a job with CTR at their first school in Okotoks, Ecole Good Shepherd in 1990. Moss recalls that the school wasn't quite ready yet and that the students would take a bus ride up to Mossleigh, with the teachers carpooling until the building was open.

Over the years she's occupied a few roles in the division, teaching elementary and junior high before taking on the role of vice-principal at John Paul II Collegiate and eventually taking over as principal.

For the last four years, she's been serving as associate superintendent with CTR, recently helping to train her successor, Pat MacDonald.

Over the course of three decades, she's seen major shifts in culture through the lens of education, and while technology has changed the way schools function, some things never change.

"We didn't even have all of our own computers back when I started! That has changed, but the basics of education we've just focused, I think, on the important elements and the thing that would be constant in every position would be relationships with the people, whether it's with the staff that we work with or our families. It's relational, that forms the basis for a successful career I think."

 She also saw Okotoks' rapid growth over several decades, as more and more students were welcomed into more and more schools.

"It was beautiful to see from what started as a small school to where we're at now in Okotoks five schools later. It's just been an opportunity to get to know more staff,  more people, it's been a blessing. It still feels like a small enough community where I can go places and run into students that I've taught or teachers that I've worked with. It's that bitter sweetness of working in a small town and enjoying the people."

In terms of her post-retirement plans, traveling, family time, and home cooking are among them, with plenty of doors having recently opened back up as COVID restrictions are pulled back.