WINDSOR, ONT. -- The director of education at the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board is stepping down.

Terry Lyons spent 32 years in education and will retire at the end of July.

“It’s been a privilege and an honour to serve the board as director of education,” Lyons said. “I leave knowing that the people in the organization not only believe in our vision of building communities of faith hope and service but they embody it.”

The announcement was made during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

“Every decision that Terry has made throughout his entire career has been in the best interest of students and their families,” WECDSB board chair Fulvio Valentinis said. “He is an exceptional leader and a great mentor who knows what it takes to build a great team. He has a strong moral compass that has always guided him and his faith defines his decisions.”

Lyons started his role with the board as executive superintendent of human resources in 2015 and took over as director of education in October of 2017, replacing Paul Picard.

One of his most recent accomplishments was the acquisition of a new site for Catholic Central High School.

Lyons said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and travelling when it is safe to do so.

The next step for the board will be to launch a thorough search process to find a replacement.