TEMPERANCE -- A familiar face soon will be gone from the Bedford Public Schools.
Mary Estes, who has been the administrative assistant to three superintendents, is retiring at the end of the month, finishing a 10-year career with the district in which she prepared hundreds of agendas for board of education meetings, handled countless requests for information and complaints about district policies, and performed multiple other tasks under short deadlines as the right-hand person of the busy school chief.
She did a fine job, Superintendent Ted Magrum said.
"Mary has been a pleasure. You can imagine the amount of different things that come to our office. She has handled them professionally, even if the person at the other end isn't professional," he said.
Mrs. Estes, for her part, said she'll miss the district.
She lives in Temperance, but plans to move to the Mount Pleasant area, where she and her husband, Jim, have bought a home.
"I love everybody here," she said. "It's been a great place to work."
Her last day is June 29. Among her final duties has been showing the ropes to her replacement, Stacey Langton. who was hired from about 50 applicants.
Mrs. Estes, 62, was hired by the Bedford schools in 2002. She had been a marketing manager for Roppe Corp. in Fostoria, a maker of commercial flooring, and returned to Toledo, where she had grown up and had close family members.
When she married, she moved to Bedford Township, where her husband was a longtime resident. They have four children between them and 10 grandchildren.
Jim Goebel was the first superintendent she worked for, then came Jon White and Mr. Magrum.
She said her job has three aspects: the holder of the position is the liaison between the public and the superintendent's office; she performs duties through the superintendent for the Board of Education, such as drafting motions to be acted on, and she is the "go-to person" for anyone with questions about district policies. She also writes the minutes of board meetings.
Mrs. Langton will be paid $45,000 annually.
She grew up in Monroe and lives in Carleton with her husband, Ray, and their two teenaged sons.
Her father is Al Capuccilli, a former mayor of Monroe.
Mrs. Langton, 52, was an at-home mom for 10 years and did stints as a secretary in the assistant principal's office at Monroe High School and as an administrative assistant at Monroe Community College.
She said after the first interview with district officials she heard nothing for two weeks and assumed someone else had been hired.
Then she was called in for a second interview that lasted 90 minutes and went well.
Mr. Magrum said her previous employers spoke highly of her, and that her experience and maturity were a plus.