Educator gives back through volunteering
To say Stephanie Blanck is involved in the Georgetown community is a bit of an understatement.
Blanck, who currently serves as the interim executive director for Georgetown Partners in Education, has served on a multitude of boards and volunteers her time with several area organizations.
"There was a day when I was a young mom [and a young] professional in town, and I would see people like Jo Ann Ford, Barbara Pearce and Barbara Brightwell, and because of my work, our paths crossed a lot," Blanck said. "They were the people I always looked up to, and I would be like, 'If I could just be like them, and if I could just have an impact like them.' And then I realized I became them."
Blanck moved to Georgetown with her husband and the couple's 1-month-old daughter in 1980 while working for six school districts throughout Bell County as a licensed specialist in school psychology. In 1986, Blanck began working in Georgetown ISD after having her second child.
For her first seven years in the district, she worked at three elementary schools before becoming assistant principal at Annie Purl Elementary School.
"That year that I was assistant principal of Annie Purl was probably my most favorite ever of any job I have ever had," Blanck said.
Blanck was then approached to become the director of special education for the district. She was also a member of the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education, of which she became president and traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for special education.
"I'm a very analytical person, and if I hadn't gone into education, I should have gone into law," Blanck said. "I found that, that was my gift I could take this law, and I could actually turn it into a flowchart process with forms that go with it."
Blanck retired from the district in 2009, but her retirement has not equaled rest.
She started her own business, IEP Associates, through which she is an educational consultant, but it is Partners in education and her volunteer work that seem to take up most of her time, she said.
Blanck serves on several boards, including the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, Seeds of Strength and Community Montessori School boards of directors.
"I'm not the kind of person that says, 'Ra, ra, ra. Look what I'm doing.' There's a need, you fill it," Blanck said.
She is also actively involved in the chamber as an ambassador and in the Leadership Georgetown and Junior Leadership programs. She helps as a mentor and volunteers her time with Victim Services, the Exceptional Georgetown Alliance, Georgetown Area Junior Forum and Williamson County Community Coordinated Child Care (WC4C)—just to name a few.
"People say, 'I don't know how you do it.' But it's who I am," Blanck said. "I'm the magician with the plates, and I make sure I get back to the first one and keep it going."
Blanck said her goal for 2012 is to focus on being a worker bee.
"I will serve at the serving line," Blanck said. "I will stand in front of Walmart in 107 degrees begging for money for Fill the Bus, but I don't want to be in charge."
Blanck was named Volunteer of the Year by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce at its annual awards banquet Feb. 3.