Jan Westerman-Beatty

Honored by:J.D. Beatty
Brick location:PAVER:32  map

Jan's contributions to learning have been and will continue to be focused upon the belief that society's success will be measured by its ability to convince human beings that they are "interdependent" -- successes and failures are shared, human responsibilities, not events, attributable merely to individual efforts. Her professional education positions to date have included: high school teacher, departmental administrator, public information/relations, director, and high school associate principal. Her extracurricular activities have included: coaching women's basketball, softball, and track, at both the junior and senior high levels. At the latter level she has been involved in four state championship teams.

Iowa State University has been Jan's primary post-secondary institution and the school that awarded her both a bachelors and masters degrees in English as well as a Ph.D. in educational administration. Her level of performance earned memberships in both Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Delta Kappa. As a professional educator she has also earned the title of fellow for Independent Study in the Humanities, a national program.

In addition to studying at Iowa State, Jan also has studied at the graduate level at UCLA and participated in professional conferences and workshops at the state, regional, national, and international levels. A good deal of her research has been focused upon the importance of understanding student culture as the key to improving learning and increasing personal and professional success.

Jan is a role model in many respects, but in particular her career path into secondary school administration is relatively unique for a woman. She demonstrates focus and reflective listening; she builds consensus through team leadership; she is fair but firm; she respects others, thus gaining their respect; she trusts, thus gaining trust. She does all this while continuing to inspire her spouse and her sisters. She accomplishes her goals as an educator through clearly defined principles, one of which is mentorship/friendship from which learning grows.

Thoreau discusses the friend/educator in this manner: "A friend is one who incessantly pays us the compliment of expecting from us all the virtues and who can appreciate them in us. It takes two to speak the truth -- one to speak and another to hear. How can one treat with magnanimity mere wood and stone? If we dealt only with the false and dishonest we should at last forget how to speak truth..." Jan believes that education is the journey to truth.


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