A long-serving Carstairs principal recounts a rewarding career.

According to John Goutsis, his long career as a Carstairs educator and administrator has been satisfying on many levels, including making a difference for kids and their parents over the years.

Goutsis, the current principle of Carstairs Elementary School, will retire at the end of the month after a thirty-plus year career in education.

Goutsis, who is originally from Calgary, began his teaching career in Calgary for a year before obtaining a post at Reed Ranch School east of Olds.

He has a degree in education from the University of Calgary.

After nine years at Reed Ranch, he accepted a position as a teacher and administrator at Hugh Sutherland School in Carstairs, where he served as vice-principal.

He then transferred to Carstairs Elementary School, where he served as principal for seven years. Throughout his 25 years in Carstairs, he continued to teach.

“I’ve always made sure that I taught,” he explained. “Even though I was in administration, I always made a point of teaching.” It is critical to maintain contact with the students in the classroom.

“I’ve taught everything from kindergarten to Grade 12 in the 36 years I’ve been teaching.” I’ve taught in every grade level. You name it, and I’ve probably done it. And it’s been a fantastic job.”

“Elementary was basically where my preference was,” he responded when asked if he has a favorite grade level to teach. That was my training at university, but you accept any job you can get. “Your career takes you all over the place.”

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Goutsis claims he has been appreciated throughout his time in Carstairs.

“Carstairs has always made me feel welcome, and hopefully I’ve given them a good 25 years of education for their students,” he explained.

“I guess the reason I’ve lived in Carstairs for so long is that it’s a wonderful community.” I’ve established friends with families, the community, businesses, and the Town of Carstairs.

“The cool thing about living in Carstairs for so long is that the kids I’ve taught now bring their families back.” It’s been an incredible career in terms of engaging with families.”

Goutsis does not intend to abandon education entirely when he retires at the end of June. In fact, he has accepted a post as a community partner at the University of Calgary, which he will begin in the fall.

“I hope to work with young teachers who are just starting out,” he remarked. “I’ll serve as their advisor and mentor them as they begin their careers.”

He advises young people seeking a career in education to get started straight away.

“It’s a very rewarding career, and you can really make a difference,” he says. “Over the years, I’ve had people tell me, ‘The reason I graduated was because of you.’ And that makes you happy and matters a lot.”

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