After 22 years with Dublin ISD, middle school principal John Grimland is retiring.

"It's been a really good 22 years at Dublin. I have been honored that the parents of Dublin have entrusted me with their children," said Grimland.

Grimland's last day will officially be on June 30, but he said he will go on vacation before that, making his last day sometime next week.

Grimland began his teaching career after receiving an undergraduate degree in music from the University of Texas at Arlington.

"I have an interesting story," admits Grimland.

The day he graduated from college, an old friend called and asked him to coach and teach history in Cranfill's Gap, a small town in Central Texas. Thus, in 1982, Grimland's career in education began.

After one year in Cranfill's Gap, Grimland was told that "if you want to make money in coaching, you need to go to West Texas." Grimland applied for a head basketball coaching job in Trent, under the supervision of then-superintendent Roy Neff.

"I always asked him (Neff) why he hired me and he says that 'it was late in the summer and we really needed someone,'" said Grimland.

Though necessity is often the mother of invention, Grimland fell in love with education and continued his career in Trent for four years. When his wife became pregnant with their first child, the young family began to eye school districts closer to their parents. Grimland called Neff, who was then serving at Dublin ISD, and asked if there were any openings. Upon being told that there were no openings, he looked at a job in Grandview. He was offered that job, but as fate would have it, a job became available in Dublin.

"Since I had already worked with Roy (Neff), I thought I would go to Dublin. I enjoyed working with him," said Grimland.

Grimland came to Dublin in 1987 as a coach and a Texas history teacher and in 1990, interviewed for a job as principal.

"For me, I look back and I knew I was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to do," said Grimland.

Grimland served as the middle school principal for 20 years and says he wouldn't change a thing.

"I've had the chance to serve at different levels, be it high school or elementary, but I love middle school kids. You love them to death, but they are a challenge," said Grimland.

Grimland has many stories of the lives he has touched, all of them involving redemption and compassion, but a simple encounter at a local gas station affirmed his idea that he was where he was supposed to be.

"I ran into a former student of mine, who had given me a lot of trouble when he was in school," said Grimland. "We didn't say much, but he told me 'hello' and held the door for me when we left. As he was getting into his truck, he stopped and just said 'Mr. Grimland, thank you.' And that was enough for me."

Though Grimland is leaving his post as principal, his love is still with the students and he is extremely grateful for the "tremendous faculty and staff" that have assisted him on his journey.

Now that he is retiring, he hopes to spend more time with his father because Grimland says that no matter how much time you spend with loved ones "it's never enough." He also plans on spending time with his wife and two children.