By MAGGIE SCHUETTE-VOSS
She has been the business manager at Lester Prairie Schools for 29 years, but the time has come for Barb Parpart to retire.
Her last day in the office will be Monday, June 8.
"I know I'm going to miss it. I really like the job, but it's time to do the things I told myself I would do someday," she said. "I also have a new granddaughter and I don't want to miss out with her what I did with the other grandchildren," Parpart said.
One of those things it's time to do is travel. Parpart and her husband, Willie, will take a trip to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark this summer; relax at the cabin; and hit the golf course.
Parpart was hired as the business manager when she first began.
"The superintendent called to see if I was interested in the job. My youngest had just started kindergarten and it seemed like a good time," she recalled.
For two years, she worked half days. Then the position became full-time.
Parpart noted the biggest change has been in technology.
"When I started, we just had electric typewriters. Now we have computers, fax machine, and e-mail. I wonder what the next few years will bring. I will miss learning the new technology," she said.
Parpart also had the advantage of learning the new technology as it became available. Her successor, she said, will have to be patient, because there is a lot to learn.
"It will be a challenge, but I think whoever takes the job will enjoy it," she said.
Another thing Parpart has enjoyed is seeing the students succeed.
"It's fun to see how well they do after they graduate," she said.
For 24 years, Parpart shared the large desk in the school office with Carol Heigl, who retired three years ago.
"All those years Carol and I sat at the same desk, I wouldn't give that up. Now we're anxious to get out and golf together," she said.