Jan Mees served the Columbia Public Schools as a library clerk for four years at Fairview Elementary and then as a library media specialist for 17 years, including as the media director at Hickman and as the media specialist at Lange and multiple elementary schools. Following her retirement, she continued to serve the community and the schools. Jan was elected to the Columbia Public Schools Board of Education in 2007 and served four terms, including three years as president of the school board. She holds a bachelor’s degree in French secondary education from Purdue University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Jan also is past president of the Missouri School Boards Association and has been a delegate to the National School Boards Association. Among her honors, she is the recipient of the Columbia Fund for Academic Excellence Award as the Outstanding Educator in a Specialized Area and as the Columbia Community Teachers Association Award for Secondary Educator of the Year. She was inducted into the Foundation’s Hall of Leaders as Outstanding Volunteer in 2019. Jan joined the Foundation board in 2021. “Student learning and well-being is the driving force for the existence of the Columbia Public Schools Foundation. The ability of the Foundation to enhance learning opportunities for all students is a critical component of the success of education in Columbia,” Jan says.