After 34 years, Superintendent Marty Lewis will retire from Gordon Cooper Technology Center and education on Friday, June 28.

According to Lewis, he announced in October of 2018 that he was going to retire and he said there has been positive response from members of the GCTC community.

"Everybody has been so very kind. I've been very fortunate and very blessed not only here at Gordon Cooper, but other places...There's a lot of good people in this community and they've responded positively and encouraging...," Lewis said.

For Lewis the best aspect of being an educator is helping students, no matter their age, succeed and helping other educators make sure they do so.

"When you teach for quite a while you have a lot of kids...that you still run into, have connections with and that's a real value. It's not necessarily the subject that you taught or where you were at, it's just those kids and your peers that you worked with," Lewis said.

The educator graduated from Dale High School, then received a Bachelor's degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and various graduate hours from other schools.

Lewis said he became an educator because his father was one and he first started as a teacher at Tecumseh Public Schools where he taught and coached for the first 12 years of his career from 1985 to 1997.

The educator said he left Tecumseh as an administrator and then went on to Latta Public Schools in Ada and stayed for three years.

After that he was superintendent of Bethel Public School before he became superintendent at GCTC in February of 2005.

Lewis said there were challenging aspects of being an educator, but the most difficult was not being able to help students as much as he wanted to.

"You want to do a lot of things for a lot of kids and there's a limit to what you can do. So that's probably one difficult aspect of education is just you have a deep desire to help people and sometimes there's a limit to how much you can help," Lewis said.

Lewis said his students and peers would describe him as a kind and helpful educator.

"I would hope that they would view me as fair, as being passionate about their learning and their success. I would hope that they would think I cared enough to do whatever was necessary to try to help them be successful," Lewis said.

As superintendent of GCTC, Lewis said he works with several adults and though the students are different ages and learning different skills, the end goal of helping them is the same.

He explained his job at GCTC is to help other educators succeed so their students can.

"I think my role is to set up the conditions to help those people that work here, teachers and the other folks that work here be as successful as they can with those students," Lewis said.

The educator said after he leaves GCTC he will spend some much needed time with his family including his newest grandson.

"Whatever happens after that we'll just kind of see what transpires...I'll try to spend as much time with (my grandson) as I can and my daughter is pregnant again and so hopefully I'll have a chance to have two grandchildren that I can spend a lot of time with...," Lewis said.

While he's looking forward to his retirement, Lewis said there are aspects of his profession that he will miss.

"Being in education and being at Gordon Cooper truly has been a wonderful time. I've had so many good people that I've worked with...and a lot of wonderful students and those are things that I will miss. I don't know how I'm going to replace those things. I think when a teacher or an educator ends their career that's what they miss the most and I know that's what I'm going to miss the most...," Lewis said.

Bob Perry will replace Lewis as superintendent at GCTC and he believes the school will be in good hands.

"(Bob Perry) is well prepared to do a great job and there's a lot of really good people around him that I had hand in bringing here and developing here and so what I hope is just that they do even greater things in the future," Lewis said.