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|Blankenstein gets unanimous support for superintendent|
The Concordia Parish School unanimously approved Loretta Blankenstein as superintendent of parish schools during a special meeting Thursday night.
Blankenstein had served as Acting Superintendent since late last year. She and two other candidates for the post had been previously interviewed by the Board.
"She knows the parish well," said Board President Gary Parnham following the unanimous vote.
Blankenstein said her immediate goal for the school system "is for all schools to reach or surpass their target growth levels on the state assessment tests."
Her other goals include increasing attendance, reducing drop-out rates, and working with the schools and community to develop five-year academic and building improvement plans.
"There are, of course, many other goals that will be addressed over time," she said. "I want the people of Concordia Parish to know that just as I considered the students of Ferriday Lower my children, I now feel that same level of responsibility toward all the children. The focus should be on what goes on in the classroom and at the schools."
She noted: "We have many hard working dedicated people in the school system. Together, with help from parents and the community, we can make a positive difference in the lives of children. I appreciate the unanimous vote of confidence from the board and look forward to working toward educating all children in Concordia Parish in a positive manner."
Although she said she can't promise to "make everyone happy, I will always be available to listen. My decisions will be based on what is best for the students in Concordia Parish."
Blankenstein graduated from Monterey High School, earned a Bachelors Degree at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, a Masters Degree in Administration at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and a Masters Plus Thirty at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
This is her 20th year in education in Concordia Parish. She worked as a teacher at Ridgecrest School, Monterey, and Vidalia Junior High. At Vidalia Junior High, she gained administrative experience working with Fred Marsalis and served as principal of Ferriday Kindergarten Center and then Ferriday Lower, which is where she was working when appointed Acting Superintendent.
"I will miss working daily with the students and staff there," she said.
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