A Heart that always Helps

Valued Staff member retires from the district

When Sarah Sheets (12) first started school in East Lansing at Pinecrest Elementary School, she met Jane Ventsias. From the beginning, her job in the main office made Sheets feel comfortable and happy at school.

 “Every time I didn’t want to be in class or didn’t feel good, she’d let me sit on her lap and “help” her with her work in the office,” Sheets said. “I appreciate her more than she knows. She’s still one of my favorite people from Pinecrest and someone I’ll never forget.”

Jane Ventsias first came to East Lansing School District in 1994,and has been a vital part of the community since. After 25 years in the district, this will be Ventsias final year in the district as she decided it was time for a new beginning.

Before her retirement at the end of the year, instructional clerk Jane Ventsias speaks on her experiences working in the East Lansing School District in her Office on May 17.
Photo by Ailiyah Pratomo

She currently works in the first story of the high school to help teachers, students, and other staff with everything from ordering school supplies to scheduling and budgeting.

“Ms. Jane is always down to help ANYONE with ANYTHING,” Sherri Seyka, english teacher and department chair, said in an email. “Of course she has helped me order books and supplies and copy materials, but more importantly she has been a friend to me. A friend that I can always count on a friend that I will hold close to my heart.”

Ventsias first came to East Lansing city or schools in 1994 after having her first child, preceded by a long successful career in hotel management. 

“I came from the hotel business and I met presidents and rock stars and really important people,” Ventsias said. “Especially at the Marriott [when they] came to do programs or things at MSU. So that was a really big adjustment, but then this is its own world in itself, and then all of a sudden you guys are the movie stars because you’re who I love and appreciate and look forward to seeing every day.”

Ventsias has worked all over the district; in elementary schools, the middle school and the high school. This has given her the chance to watch kids she knew when they were five grow up, graduate and become adults.

“That’s my gift that was like a priceless gift that I still get,” Ventsias said. “I even go to their houses for dinner and stuff like that, because in elementary you’re kind of like their mom so they kind of treasure you like grandma or aunt.”

Most students have only known Ventsias since the beginning of their highschool years, but even in that short time she has impacted them.

“I’ve known Ms. Jane since my sophomore year,” Sydney Greenway (12) said. “She is always super helpful when I need to print things for my club or when I have questions. EL will not be the same without her and she will be missed.”

Greenaway is grateful for her hard work and dedication. She has always cared for the mental health and well being of students and staff.

“She has definitely helped me with my mental health and getting me through some tough times in my life,” Geralynn Jackson, science teacher, said.

Jackson has a simple goodbye for Ventsias,  “I will miss you tremendously, but don’t look back.  Enjoy the next season of your life.”

Ventsias does not yet know what her next career is going to be, but is looking for something new and exciting.

“What I would say to everybody is just remember when you come to that roadblock, it’s actually your new beginning,” Ventsias said. “And that’s what it is for me, it was just time [for me to move forward].”