Mike Mogan is began his retirement Friday after 33 years with the school corporation.
Mogan's career took him from a teacher at Clay City Elementary and Jackson Township Elementary to Assistant Superintendent and Director of Personnel and back to Clay City as Principal during Jon Russell's tour of duty in Iraq.
Mogan officially retired in June, but stayed on at Clay City Elementary until Russell's return.
In July, Mogan began selling real estate for Emmert GMAC in anticipation of his retirement.
"Looking back on the whole thing, I don't think I would've changed anything," Mogan said.
Mogan believes that his reputation for treating people with respect will help him in his transition to real estate.
He said the key is to making people feel comfortable around you, and "there are ways to do that with respect. And that's what I've strived for."
Part of creating that comfort level and approachability with the students and parents was Mogan's visibility in the community and school buildings.
Mogan did morning and afternoon bus duty, so that when kids got off the buses, they immediately knew the principal was there for them.
"The more kids have the opportunity to interact with the principal, the better it is for them (when called to the office). They don't have to be scared of me, but they respect me," Mogan said.
When students did get called into Mogan's office, he took the time to explain why they were there and why it was important to talk about an issue.
The same approach was taken to support staff and parents.
"Once you've lived here, you understand what people expect as a principal, as an administrator, as a teacher," Mogan said.
Mogan said the biggest challenge he faced over the years was "meeting the ever-changing needs of our students."
He also said that in a public education setting, the school doesn't get to pick and choose its clients.
Being able to meet the educational, physical, and emotional needs of students with such varying experiences makes the challenge of education more rewarding.
"You need to be out with your people. I can always take the paperwork home," Mogan said.
Friday Clay City Elementary held a pitch-in lunch in honor of Mogan and his service to the corporation.
Mogan spent Friday afternoon going from classroom to classroom saying goodbye to the students.
His office was starting to fill with cards, gifts, and signs thanking him.
Mogan is not completely shutting the door on his career in education. He says if the right opportunity came along, he may return to the field.
But for now, Mogan will concentrate on using his experience to be approachable in the field of real estate.