(WGNO) – Meet 61-year-old Daryl Duplessie. Little did the West Bank native know that a summer job at the police department would cause her to break boundaries.
“I needed get back to school after high school. I needed to go to school, so I was looking through the telephone book and I saw a court reporting school. Here I am 43-years-later,” explains Duplessie.
43-years-ago Duplessie became the first modern day, African-American court reporter in the New Orleans area, working as the first black court reporter to use a stenograph.
“I guess I never thought about it, in certain respects, as being the first. The first ever of this or the first ever of that because first of all in the job the responsibilities come first,” says Duplessie.
For the past four decades, Duplessie has worked at Orleans Parish Criminal Court where despite being humble she’s inspired those around her.
“When I started out in the building as an Assistant District Attorney there was only one black female judge on the bench, now it’s three of us. There were only two females, and now there’s six of us. So it definitely was an inspiration and it just goes to show any female that women can do whatever it is you want to do,” says Judge Robin D. Pittman who has worked with Duplessie since 2009.
Feeling complete Daryl Duplessie is retiring at the end of the month to focus on family and new goals. 43-years-later she says it’s never been about breaking boundaries or becoming a legend. To her the opportunity has been a blessing.