STANTON — After 27 years in the United States Postal Service, 17 of those spent as postmaster at the Stanton Post Office, Sindia Leonard is now retiring from her post as a “wonderful career” comes to an end.
After starting at the Vestaburg Post Office in 1985, transferring to Alma, then becoming postmaster of the Middleton Post Office before settling in as the postmaster in Stanton in 1995, Leonard will serve her final day as postmaster today, a job she said she is very grateful to have worked since the beginning.
“This job has not only been extremely rewarding professionally, but it has enabled me to send three kids to college and I’m very thankful that I was able to have this job,” she said. “As much as you can be excited about a new phase in your life, I’m going to miss everything I’m leaving behind.”
Leonard’s duties have included ensuring everything runs smoothly at the post office, supervising employees and most importantly, helping customers face-to-face.
“I love my job,” she said. “I have been very fortunate and lucky to have this job. I have had absolutely wonderful employees and this community is a really nice community.”
Leonard said she originally wanted to be a teacher, studying education at Central Michigan University, but her plans changed after three and a half years of college when her mother died.
“My father had already passed away and I had to go home to take care of my four younger sisters,” she said. “It changed my course in life a little, but ending up with this job, it has been wonderful.”
When looking back on her career, Leonard said the highlights have always been the staff she works with and the customers she sees on a regular basis.
“The thing that has meant the most to me are the employees and the members of the community,” she said. “The customers who come in with a smile everyday and ask you about your day, it’s always wonderful.”
As far as challenges along the way, Leonard said advances in technology have been the biggest factor.
“One of the toughest parts of this job was learning how to properly educate the community on how changes in technology over the years has affected their mail,” she said. “The most dramatic change has been the Internet and the lack of first class mail compared to in the past. Technology has helped in may ways, but it’s also made things harder too.”
Leonard said she can remember having to sort more than 50 trays of mail at a time in the past, which has been reduced to just one or two trays of mail per day today.
“Everything is processed on computers today,” she said. “Through all of the changes, it has encouraged us to have more of a dialog with our customers.”
Though she’s enjoyed her career, Leonard said she is ready for retirement to take effect.
The St. Louis resident, who celebrated her 55th birthday on Wednesday, will join her husband, Randy, in retirement after the Postal Service offered her an early retirement package.
“I have eight grandchildren with one on the way and my intentions are to absolutely enjoy my family and to reconnect with a lot of friends,” she said. “I’ll spend a lot of time relaxing as well. It will be nice not to hear the alarm clock in the morning anymore.”
Office Clerk Ron Sharp said his one year of working at the Stanton office under Leonard “has been great.”
“It’s always been a very friendly environment with Sindia around,” he said. “We’re going to miss her, she’s been very good. She has done a lot to help the clerks here and she has always helped the road carriers when possible.”
Diana Martinez, the current senior clerk at the Stanton office, will serve as Leonard’s interim replacement until after July 31, when the official hiring process for a new postmaster will begin.
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