BLACKFOOT—Longtime Blackfoot School District Board Clerk Margaret Contor attended Thursday night's school board; however, she was not in her usual seat.
Contor retired from the district this month after nearly 25 years of service and was at the meeting for special recognition from the board in front of a room full of friends, patrons and district personnel.
Contor started at the district in the early 80s as a part-time secretary and took on the full-time position of duty clerk and secretary to the superintendent in 1989.
Throughout Contor's career she worked with five superintendents, 25 board members and numerous other administrators.
Board chairman Dale Christiansen expressed heartfelt gratitude to Contor on behalf of the board, thanking her for her years of service.
"You've saved all of us from numerous headaches and perhaps even going to jail," he joked.
Trustee Dewane Wren, who has been a principal and superintendent in the district, has worked with Contor for 11 years.
"She's the most professional person I've ever worked with," Wren said. "The only time I ever saw her being unprofessional was when I walked into the room dressed as a cow with udders while she was on the phone and she burst out laughing. I don't know who she was talking to."
Mary Jo Marlow praised Contor as a friend and colleague, saying, "She was always so knowledgeable and efficient. She was always rooting for our district, rooting for the board and rooting for the superintendent."
Superintendent Chad Struhs, who worked with Contor for six years, said, "It has been an incredibly humbling experience to have Margaret as part of my life. She was wonderful to bounce ideas off of and has vast knowledge and experience in education."
An emotional Contor shared the "Blueberry Story" about the acceptance of all children "just the way they are." In closing she said, "Thank you for the opportunity to have served you. It has gone by quickly."
Contor, along with her husband, left the meeting immediately after her recognition, saying "I'm going home to watch Duck Dynasty."
District employee JaNae Smith who has served as personnel clerk has been appointed to fill the position of board clerk.