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Mary Lyon Foundation Updates

A Portrait of Dedication

Jana Standish, a cherished member of the Mary Lyon Foundation’s Board of Trustees, embodies the essence of dedication, compassion, and community spirit. With over three decades of service as an elementary school counselor in the Mohawk Trail Regional School District, Jana has been a beacon of support for countless students, families, staff, and community members, helping navigate challenges with persistent commitment.

For Jana, making West County her permanent home was a natural progression, deeply rooted in her childhood experiences and love for the land. Spending her childhood in Connecticut, she cherished vacations in Colrain amidst the backdrop of a working farm. Even after traveling far and wide, she affirms that this corner of the world holds an incomparable charm in her heart.

Jana’s journey with the Mary Lyon Foundation began with a simple invitation to contribute to educator mini-grants. This gesture soon evolved into a deep-seated commitment. Inspired by the foundation’s founder and propelled by Kristen’s visionary leadership, Jana found herself immersed in a community of compassionate impact, in everything from providing essential groceries and internet access during the pandemic to facilitating access to vital resources like eyeglasses, clothing, and educational support.

Throughout her tenure in the school district, Jana has witnessed the shifting landscape of student and family needs. From an increasing demand for counseling services to the challenges of modern parenting, she recognizes the evolving dynamics and the necessity for holistic support systems. She emphasizes the pivotal role of education and community intervention in empowering families, bridging gaps, and cultivating resilience in the face of adversity.

In this modern era, technology’s influence on family dynamics and education has increased, presenting both a challenge and an opportunity. Increased access to technology allows our students to be more connected to the world beyond our regional borders – but, we must be cognizant of excessive screen time, balancing technology use with other activities.

Beyond the spotlight, Jana acknowledges the quiet yet profound ways the Mary Lyon Foundation touches lives. In providing free swimming lessons to children, ensuring they have access to crucial healthcare, and easing the burden on educators who often dip into their pockets for classroom supplies, the foundation’s initiatives embody a kindhearted approach to community support.

As Jana envisions the future of the Mary Lyon Foundation, she sees boundless opportunities to expand its reach and efficacy.  Her vision includes establishing clinics in schools to mobilize healthcare services for Hilltown communities, reflecting a deep-seated commitment to all-inclusive care and equitable access to support services. Her strategic thinking and long-term commitment inspire confidence in the Foundation’s future.

Beyond her role with the Foundation, Jana’s heart and soul are deeply intertwined with the fabric of her community. Alongside her husband Bill and their three adult children, she continues to play a pivotal role in embodying the values of stewardship, generosity, and strength, nurturing a legacy of compassion and service for generations to come.