How many years have you been in the school business profession?
This makes my 29th year in this profession. So, it has been a long time!
How did you first learn about the school business profession?
I have a crazy experience. I have a degree in electrical engineering. I used to work for Dayton Power and Light Company. We opened service centers and one of my jobs was to be over the financial piece of the service centers. A job at Dayton Public Schools came open. It was the supervisor of payroll position, someone asked me about it, and I applied and then accepted it. I always say the rest is history because from that job, I went through the ranks and got my treasurer’s license and now I'm a treasurer.
What is your proudest career accomplishment to date?
I would say my proudest accomplishment is after 20 years working with Dayton Public Schools, the last eight years as the assistant treasurer, I then found the courage to apply to become the treasurer for Trotwood-Madison. Professionally speaking, that's been one of the highlights of my career so far.
What is one thing you feel makes your district unique in the state?
The city of Trotwood has an amazing community. They support our school system, and our school district has some amazing young people. We are urban, majority African American students, and I think that makes us unique among the 600 or so districts in the state of Ohio.
What is at the top of your professional bucket list?
Professionally, the top is obviously to retire with a stellar reputation. Even more so, to leave this profession and have a student or a colleague of mine say to anyone that I, whether through my actions, demeanor, walk and talk, etc., made an impression on them. I always want to look at myself as empowering, particularly women, and so I would like to be remembered as someone that empowered others.
What is at the top of your personal bucket list?
I love to travel so I have three countries that I'd like to go to: Ireland, the U.K., and Italy. I have never been to those three, so within the next five or six years, at least one or two of those are going to happen and be marked off my list.
What song describes you?
There are two songs from Alicia Keys: “Girl on Fire” and “Brand New Me.” Every single day I try to learn something new. I don't care how insignificant is, I am always trying to reinvent Janice. I don't care how old I've gotten, how many times I've done something, my staff knows never to say to me, “We’ve always done it like that." I always like to reinvent myself, and anyone that's working for me or around me. And, I want everybody to be empowered, and, with “Girl on Fire,” I really feel that at almost 65 years of age, I still have that fire in me to make a better world, make a better school district, and be the best treasurer/CFO in the state of Ohio.
If you were an office supply item, which would you be and why?
A highlighter. I try to highlight the accomplishments of anyone around me. If they learn something new, we've implemented a new program, I try to highlight those things. When I first got here, my staff didn't know Excel so I said, this is the financial arena, you guys have to learn Excel to make your jobs easier. I try to highlight different things that people can do, for them to step outside of their comfort zone and learn something new.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
“50 shades of Janice.” When someone thinks about that, they might relate that to the book or the movie. I don’t, but I thought it was kind of catchy. As I previously mentioned, I'm always trying to reinvent myself. I am a lot of different things. I might be happy or excited one day, and might be solemn or very serious the next day. I'm a sports fanatic. I like to hang out with my children. I like to travel. I just like a lot of different things. There are just different shades of me that I like, and so over the last 65 years, I've evolved into who I am.
How or why did you first get involved with OASBO?
I wanted to make a difference and show any and everyone that a woman, and a woman of color, can make a difference. I wanted to add that flavor into the group and give my different viewpoints on whatever topic that we were talking about. I also wanted to highlight an urban district, and then be like a role model or representative of a professional woman that someone can look up to.
What has been the best or your favorite part of being involved in OASBO
My favorite part is just meeting other people, either OASBO members and or the vendors. I have gotten to be very good friends with a lot of our members that I would never have had the opportunity to meet had I not gone to the conferences. I can pick up the phone, and anyone is more than willing to help me if I have a problem if I have a question. That's one thing that I really, really have enjoyed as an OASBO member – just establishing those relationships.