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Radloff on the Mend after Broken Neck

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School Board Member Continues 40-Plus Years of Service

Louise Radloff, 11-term GPCS board of education member, reads to students.
Louise Radloff, 11-term GPCS board of education member, reads to students.

Think a broken neck can stop the redheaded public servant from District Five?

We”re talking about Louise Radloff here: an 11-term Gwinnett County Public Schools board of education member who for the past forty-plus years has made the welfare of schoolchildren her life”s work. A woman who championed special education and helped create the state”s mental health association. A woman who oversees a program that teaches and feeds a financially disadvantaged group of Gwinnett County residents.

She”s a woman who sees a broken neck as nothing more than a bump in the road. “I”ve still got a lot of work to do,” she said. Radloff, 78, suffered the injury Sept. 5 at a warehouse loading dock in Pinckneyville, while helping load bread onto a truck for her nonprofit group.

“I was in the warehouse helping, when I took one step too far and fell about four feet. I hit my head on the concrete, but on the way down my head hit a pole,” Radloff said.

The result was a broken neck, for which she underwent surgery the following day. After several weeks of rehab and her first-ever physical absence from a board of education meeting, the public official returned for the Gwinnett County Public Schools October meeting.

More than two months after the incident, she”s doing better. “It”s going well. I do have some vertigo, and my hearing has been affected, but I”m ready to get back to doing what I need to do,” Radloff said. She attributes her resilience to “motivation, stamina, and support from family and friends.”

As the District Five board of education member, Radloff represents all or portions of the Berkmar, Duluth, Meadowcreek and Norcross clusters in addition to GIVE West, Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology, Maxwell High School of Technology and New Life Academy of Excellence.