"I'm going to very much miss what I've been doing. Everyday is so unique. I am really going to miss the children and staff here," she told the Banner Graphic.
Blaydes started out her career teaching kindergarten in Griffith. After two years, she came to Bainbridge Elementary. During that time she taught first grade for 22 years, fourth and second grade for one year and all the rest in third grade.
"I came here in 1967 when the building was brand new. When I leave, I will be the last of the teachers from that year," said Blaydes.
She plans to do a lot of traveling. Hopefully including a cruise to Alaska. She is also an avid bridge player and has been subbing with a group.
"Now I can play regularly," she said.
Always active in the community, Blaydes plans on continuing to take part in community events. She lives in Roachdale although she was born and raised in Lafayette.
She got her undergraduate degree from Purdue University, masters from DePauw University and did her administration work at Butler University.
"I did my administration work but decided that was not what I wanted to do. I really loved to teach so I stayed teaching," said Blaydes.
When asked if she had any favorite memories, she replied that at this point, most of it is all a blur.
"Each year is such a challenge and so unique. I never taught the same way any year. I teach with themes and vary them with the kids. I try to make every year different for the kids and that keeps me interested as well," she reflected.
After spending two-thirds of her life in the classroom, it will be hard for Blaydes to leave Bainbridge Elementary.
She noted that a lot of changes have occurred in Bainbridge through the years.
"The community has changed a lot. We've had a lot of families move in. For several years, I knew all the kids and their families. It's a much more flexible community now. We have a lot of wonderful families who I'm going to miss," she added.
"I broke down and cried at my retirement dinner. I am very much going to miss the children and the friendships I've developed over the years. It's very hard to go," she said.
There will be a retirement open house for Blaydes and Linda Hartman in the media center at Bainbridge Elementary on Wednesday, May 27 from 3 to 5 p.m. The public is welcome. If anyone has pictures or memories they would like to share about Hartman or Blaydes please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.