Gwinnett school board member: Broken neck? What the heck

Louise Radloff wasn’t about to end her record of 40 years of perfect attendance at Gwinnett County’s monthly school board meetings.

Radloff, one of the state’s longest-serving local school board members, is recovering from a broken neck.

So on Thursday, she joined the school board’s work session and monthly business meeting by phone, listening in and even making a few comments.

“You are certainly an inspiration to all of us,” school board chair Carol Boyce told Radloff as the meeting started.

Radloff, 78, fell early this month while picking up bread for the needy from a bread distributor, her son, Greg, said.

“She was loading her car, misstepped and fell,” he said. “She struck her head and got quite a deep abrasion.”

Radloff also complained that her neck was sore, and a trip to the hospital confirmed that she had fractures of the C1 and C2 vertebrae, Greg Radloff said.

Surgery and rehab followed, and now Louise Radloff is staying with family and recuperating.

“The outlook for her recovery is good,” her son said.

Radloff has been a member of the Gwinnett school board since January 1973 and represents the Norcross and Duluth areas of the county. A middle school in Duluth was named for her.

She easily won re-election in 2012, despite having switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party based on the changing demographics of her district. Unofficial record keepers at the school system say she’s never missed a regularly scheduled monthly school board meeting.

Son Greg said she wasn’t going to miss Thursday’s meeting, if at all possible.

“She’s always been someone who is very engaged and passionate, so why let a little broken neck get in the way?” he said.

“She’s really anxious to get back.”

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