We are honoured to recognize members of the SMUS community as they retire and take on new adventures. Read the 2019 Retiree series to learn more about their outstanding contributions to the school. In this story, we recognize Janice Iverson, former Senior School receptionist.
Anyone who entered School House at the Senior School campus can likely attest to the warm welcome they received from Janice Iverson.
In 1999, Janice came on board at St. Michaels University School for part-time reception. During the first years, she also explored a few other areas including admissions and university counselling before settling into her role at reception. Sincere and warm, Janice set the tone and managed the needs of each person who entered the school.
Before SMUS, Janice had worked in secretarial and administrative work, but she had never worked in education. What struck her was the “energy, variety and family-focus” of the SMUS environment. Drawn to the “community-based, flexible nature” of the school, Janice dedicated her time and energy here for the next 20 years.
“I really enjoyed going to work. It was never dull or tedious,” she says. “I do miss it. It was great. I do hope to drop in for visits from time to time.”
Some of the most profound changes during Janice’s time with the school were dramatic physical developments with the Crothall Centre for Arts and Humanities (2002), the John and Anne Schaffter Hall Music Centre (2004), the Monkman Athletic Complex (2008), the Sun Centre student commons and dining hall (2018). Witnessing and supporting the growth, both in structure and student capacity, of SMUS was significant for Janice. “The Sun Centre was a really big one for the students. It’s so beautiful.”
“There are so many programs and SMUS goes beyond normal learning,” Janice shares. “There were also so many opportunities to contribute and do things. It was wonderful to have the chance to get to know other staff and faculty informally.” She loved pitching in with the Spring Fairs, Alumni Weekend and the International Markets. Of note was participating in the SMUS corporate rowing challenge and winning first place with her team, Ducks in a Row in 2016.
Janice retired in 2018 but filled in on reception for several weeks during the summer of 2019. Moving forward, Janice will continue to paint abstracts in acrylic, hike and travel (upcoming trips include England, Scotland and Hawaii). Her Hawaii trip next year is with her 95-year-old mother, her agile, very bright “role model.” She also plans to “duck” into the school for a coffee now and again to maintain connection with her friends and the SMUS community.