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Retiring D-44 superintendent Blanche: 'I am indebted to the community'

Blanche: 'I am indebted to the community'

LOMBARD – Jim Blanche, superintendent of Lombard Elementary School District 44, will retire at the end of the school year after a decade leading the district.

Blanche, whose resignation was recently accepted by the school board, will officially retire on June 30. Ten years at one district is a long tenure for most superintendents, Blanche said.

"I just decided the time was right – you have to know when that is," Blanche said. "I've enjoyed the stability, but it's time to move on."

The Iowa native served 30 years as a principal, special education director and superintendent in Davenport Community School District before coming to School District 44.

"I spent most of my career as a principal at every level – elementary, junior high and high school," Blanche said. "The final six years I was the [district's] superintendent."

Blanche said he felt right at home when he joined School District 44. The commitment that the district's principals, teachers and support staff have for the students is "inspiring," he said.

"None of this happens without being surrounded by great people," Blanche said. "I wanted to be a part of the community and hopefully people thought that I have been."

While Blanche does not plan to officially retire after leaving his position, he added that he is not actively pursuing future employment opportunities.

Coming to Lombard was one of the best things to happen to Blanche, both professionally and personally, he said.

"I am indebted to the community."

Lombard Elementary School District 44 is made up of seven schools and has roughly 3,100 students from kindergarten through eighth grade.

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