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Jane Nettleton, Our Heroine
We wish to honor our friend JANE NETTLETON with a brick on the Plaza of Heroines. Jane came to Algona in 1964, after graduating from Iowa State University, and began her teaching career at Algona High School as a home economics teacher. She later completed her master’s degree in education at Drake University and helped with the talented and gifted program at the high school level. Jane met her future husband, fellow teacher Don Nettleton, at school and they have been married over 50 years. They have three children: Dan, Jeremy, and Jennifer; and three grandchildren: Sam, Kate, and Owen.
In her many roles as a teacher, whether at Algona High School, Adjunct Professor at Iowa Lakes Community College, Mid-week Bible and Sunday school at Trinity Lutheran Church, Jane has touched literally thousands of lives, not only because she was a good teacher (which she was!), but because of her outstanding character. One of her former students put it this way: "I learned more from Mrs. Nettleton than any other teacher. It wasn’t just the classroom learning, but she served as a role model on how to live your life."
Jane and her husband, Don, are faithful supporters of Algona High School sports teams, and rarely miss a game. If they aren’t at an AHS sporting event, it’s probably because they are attending a sporting event for one of their grandchildren.
Jane is a charter member of Algona Association of University Women, which means she’s been a member for nearly 50 years! She served as President of the club four different times and has been at the forefront of nearly every major project of AAUW. She has served as an exemplary moderator at many AAUW sponsored community forums. In her role as moderator, many people have commented on her calm demeanor and sense of fairness to all sides involved. It is just part of her personality, to treat everyone with respect and accept everyone as they are. She has that rare ability to be a good listener! She will give an opinion when asked, but it is tempered with kindness.
Jane initiated Algona’s historical walking tours and the annual Cemetery Walk. She has written fascinating vignettes about women in Algona, and these have been read on the local radio station for years to celebrate Women’s History Month. Besides her active involvement locally in AAUW, Jane has served on numerous state boards and committees for over thirty years.
Jane is a delightful story teller and history buff. She presents entertaining programs for many community groups on Algona history, women’s history and trips to various places in the world. Many times she will appear in costume for the time period involved. Jane has a talent for researching our past and bringing it to life through her interesting writing and captivating story telling.
Jane is an active member at Trinity Lutheran Church in Algona, serving the congregation in many capacities. She was the first woman to be elected as a member of the Church Council, has served on the evangelism committee (as chairperson) and the education committee for many years (again as chairperson for much of the time). Jane is a member of Lutheran Woman’s Missionary League and Evening Circle, serving in a variety of offices.
Jane has also served her congregation through her love of music. Besides being a choir member for over 40 years, a bell choir member for over 20 years, and a part of a women’s Sextet, Jane has served as the children’s bell choir director and music director for Midweek Bible School and Sunday school for 10 years.
Jane served on the Algona Community School Foundation from 2001 to 2011, acting as secretary for most of that time. She has been member of the Kossuth County Care Team and the Kossuth County Health Alliance.
Jane was inducted into Algona High School National Honor Society as honorary member in 2007. She received the Governor’s Volunteer Award in 1990, and was presented with the Iowa Lakes Community College Women’s Leadership Award in 1985.
As you can see, Jane is a tireless volunteer, who generously gives of her time and talents, to many causes. She touches many people’s lives with her unselfish dedication, truly making this community a better place to live. We are proud to call JANE NETTLETON our friend, and we thank her for all she has done for us and the people of Iowa.