Spotlights

Cadie Blalock retiring after 28 years at School of Education

Photo of Cadie Blalock

Cadie Blalock

Cadie Blalock has seen a lot of change during her career at the School of Education.

She remembers Fanny who ran the now-long-gone Scuttlebutt snack bar across from Peabody Hall. She can recall the day when they made Columbia Street run one way on its northbound jog through campus. Her chancellor when Blalock came to work here was Christopher Fordham.

“I’ve been through a lot of chancellors,” Blalock said.

And, one might add deans, professors and students.

But now the change is Blalock’s. She’s retiring this month after 28 years of serving the School and its people.

Blalock is a native of the town of Stokes in Pitt County. She went to college at Pembroke State University, now called UNC-Pembroke, and got a degree in early childhood education. She and her husband, Larry, moved to be near his family centered around Efland, in northern Orange County, and they’ve lived there since.

Blalock taught for two years before joining the School of Education in 1985.

Dixie Spiegel, now a retired faculty member but who then served as an assistant dean, interviewed and then hired Blalock for a secretarial position.

Since then, Blalock has worked throughout Peabody Hall – in the Center for Mathematics and Science Education with Russ Rowlett and his team, in Student Services, and most recently as assistant to the chair in the Professional, Leadership and Practice division as well as support for the Elementary, CDFS, and Teaching Fellows programs.  She spent more than 15 years in Student Services, a position that put her in touch with many of the students who matriculated through Peabody Hall by doing such things as processing their comprehensive exams and their graduation paperwork, and helping people with their financial aid.

Spiegel said she was able to depend on Blalock and the way in which she carried on her work.

“Cadie and I practically grew up together!” Spiegel said. “I learned to rely on Cadie and to value her incredible work ethic and her calming presence. She never got ruffled, no matter how strange the request; she never got angry no matter what the circumstances. She was always Cadie – hardworking, efficient, serene, and a good friend.”

Blalock said that the years spent working closely with staff and faculty in Student Services was special to her.

“We had a good team,” she said. “We were like family, and we could all finish each other’s sentences.”

Blalock plans to spend time on her favorite hobbies. She loves to crochet, making things for family members and for charity. She frequently makes items and has donated them to groups such as Warm Up America; Handmade Afghan Project, which provides afghans for wounded soldiers; and, other nonprofit groups that accept donated items for distribution to needy families.

She’s also planning to fill some gaps in her family history. Blalock said she’s been investigating the genealogy of forebears on both her mother’s and father’s sides of the family, people who migrated to North Carolina from Virginia, settling in Pitt. A cousin had taken one line of family history all the way back to the 1200s.

She also loves to cook, and plans to do more of it.

“I do the big Thanksgiving,” Blalock said. “It’s a three-day cooking marathon.”

Although she and Larry don’t have kids of their own, she’s part of a large extended family with more than 20 nieces and nephews – all of whom benefit from her holiday meals that get carted to the family get-togethers. Thanksgiving typically is in Efland and in Virginia; Christmas in South Carolina.

Faculty member Harriet Able said that sort of caring was emblematic of Blalock.

“I had the pleasure of working directly with Cadie for five years,” Able said. “She helped me pull together Teaching and Learning. I couldn't have done it without her! 

“She exemplifies all the characteristics of a true professional – she has initiative, persistence, and is extremely dependable. Cadie is a true lady. She will be missed terribly!”