Jan is an educator through and through. After retiring from the local public-school system after 28 years of teaching, she now uses her elementary education degree as a special education teacher’s aide in an inclusive Pre-K program. She has spent the last several years educating herself even more on topics pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community and plans to continue to do so.
Jan spends her free time watching movies and theatrical productions, visiting museums, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Her gifts include a deep well of compassion for others, and a willingness to work as long as it takes to get things done.
When she and her husband of more than 30 years, David, found out their son was gay, they weren’t particularly surprised, and had discussed what to say and do when that moment came. It still took time to adjust. Fortunately, although their family belonged to a non-affirming church, their son received a great deal of love and support from his youth group and ministry leader. Jan and David have since helped start an LGBTQ+ parents and allies advocacy group there.
“(Our son) had several friends who were alienated by their families when they came out,” Jan said. “That gave me an understanding of the struggles and fueled my passion for supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community who are facing alienation and rejection by those closest to them.”