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Superintendent to retire

VIDALIA — After 24 years of hard work and dedication in the Concordia Parish school system, Superintendent Loretta Blankenstein will retire effective June 30.

At a special meeting of the Concordia Parish school board tonight, Blankenstein will submit her retirement request for approval.

“It’s been a very difficult and emotional decision for me to make, but it’s something I’ve been praying and thinking about for some time,” Blankenstein said. “The people in Concordia Parish are like my family, so it will be very difficult to leave.

“But I won’t be retiring from the school system to go sit at home all day.”

After some much needed rest, Blankenstein said she will join her husband at Blankenstein’s Supplies and Equipment.

“I know he’s happy to have me joining the family businesses and actually have some free time,” Blankenstein said. “I wasn’t quite sure in my heart I wanted to leave my position, because I love my job and the people I work with, but at this time it’s the best decision.”

And despite a successful fight with breast cancer, Blankenstein said her illness was not the ultimate factor in her decision.

“I am basically in remission at this time, but I’m still taking radiation treatments for that, which I wasn’t expecting to have to go through this year,” Blankenstein said. “When you’re dealing with something like cancer, you realize just how special each day is, so it’s more of a family decision.

“Hopefully now we can do some of the things we’ve had to put off over the past four to five years.”

The school board will appoint an acting superintendent at tonight’s meeting.

The board will have two weeks to advertise the position before beginning interviews with candidates.

And even though June 30 is right around the corner, Blankenstein said she will stay busy right up to the last minute.

“We have plenty going on with the magnet school and just getting all of our staff ready for next year, so I’ll be staying busy” Blankenstein said. “I’ve had a great time working with the board and all of the employees.

“I’ve really enjoyed working in Concordia Parish.”

Blankenstein was a principal in the school district before she accepted the position of superintendent in February 2008.

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