Blankenstein appointed superintendent of schools

Published 12:21 am Friday, February 1, 2008

VIDALIA — Starting Thursday night, acting Superintendent of Schools Loretta Blankenstein got to drop one of the words from her title — acting.

The Concordia Parish School Board voted 8-0 to appoint Blankenstein permanent superintendent.

The principal of Ferriday Lower Elementary School, Blankenstein served as acting superintendent since mid-November. She took over after former Superintendent Kerry Laster’s contract was not renewed and later bought out.

Email newsletter signup

Blankenstein has worked in the Concordia Parish school district for 20 years.

In a meeting that lasted fewer than 10 minutes and only had one item on the agenda, the board passed the motion by member Raymond Riley — it was seconded by member Martha Rabb — that Blankenstein be hired.

After the vote, member Fred Butcher said he was looking forward to working with Blankenstein.

“We have some problems, some concerns, but we hope (Blankenstein) can do the type of job you have done since you came to Concordia Parish,” he said.

President Gary Parnham said he commended the board for an “excellent choice.”

Riley said he made the motion to hire Blankenstein because he felt she was the best person for the job.

“She knows the parish and she knows its needs,” Riley said. “I feel she is strong enough to take the parish where it needs to go.”

Blankenstein’s focus on education was also key to his decision, Riley said.

“We have had some rough roads, but I feel we will be able to move forward because she cares about the children and what is best for them,” he said.

Blankenstein said she is ready to continue working.

“I look forward to working for the students of the parish and moving forward,” she said.

As for making the move into her new office, Blankenstein said all of her things are still at Ferriday Lower.

“I’ve got too much to do tomorrow,” she said. “The move will have to wait until a weekend.”

The board will formally approve Blankenstein’s contract at its Feb. 12 meeting.

Two others, Linda D’Amico, of Morganza, and Jerry Payne, of Pine Grove, had applied for the superintendent’s position.

Board member Ricky Raven was not present at Thursday’s meeting.

Blankenstein’s first husband, Lester “Pete” Peterman, was superintendent before his death.