Almost exactly 14 years ago (June 4, 2002), Jan became a Rotarian. Since then, she has taken on many leadership position in our club, including President. Jan began by illustrating her family’s very deep roots in Dundas and their strong commitment its community life. Jan grew up downtown Dundas, one of five children (1 boy and 4 girls). Both parents were involved in town politics and community life and encouraged Jan and her siblings to do the same. Jan’s father held many elected positions, including Regional Councillor. After he retired, her mother became Councillor for Dundas. The family was always involved in election campaigns and canvassed probably every single house in town many times. Jan’s brother became a member of Flamborough Council. 
Although Jan herself has not (yet?) gone into politics, her political background has served Jan well with all her work in School Board Administration and in volunteer organizations.
Despite becoming a well-respected educator and Administrator, Jan by her own account was not a good student and did not become so until she got to university. But first she got her “basic” training and started teaching at Dundas Central when she was 19 years old. After a number of years there, she resigned to attend university. 
With degree in hand, Jan started a long successful career, first as a guidance counsellor at Ancaster Senior, then teaching at Ancaster High and eventually working for the Board in curriculum development, interacting with Ministry staff.
Somewhere along the way, Jan had a lovely daughter, got a Master’s Degree and was a Principal for 16 years. After retirement, she’s been mentoring and coaching new Principals and involved in teacher education. 
Jan outlined some of the challenges she faced, often being the first female in a position. She frequently received feedback that it was too soon or she was too young to take on the new responsibility. Jan said that they may have been right but she did it anyway and learned along the way. Jan described the circumstance of being part of Wentworth County which surrounded the Hamilton Board. And how very different the two Boards were. Things got really interesting when the two school boards amalgamated. Jan felt that staff from both Boards worked diligently in blending the two organizations together. 
Jan passed along four lessons: (1) listen (2) empathize and understand (3) know that everyone has at least a few second chances and (4) keep on learning. 
In the question and answer period, Jan was asked if she prefers the way Dundas is now to the way it was when she was growing up. Jan said that she doesn’t think that way. Each period has its own energy and character. She does notice that when she grew up there were over 50 kids living in her neighbourhood. There is nowhere near that many now.  
Ralph thanked Jan for her presentation, recognizing her accomplishments and appreciating her leadership. Her talk reminded him that he was the one who had filled in for Jan when she was on leave with her daughter Jenn. 
 
 
 
 
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