Following her graduation from the Metropolitan State University of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts, and Lesley College with a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction, Janice L. Van Wagner enthusiastically pursued a career in education, having served as a teacher within the Denver Public Schools District since 1991. Prior to her career in teaching, she was a trust accountant representative at the United Bank of Denver from 1981 to 1991, and the office manager for cardiologist Marvin S. Liggett between 1979 and 1981. Ms. Van Wagner had also held various positions at United Buckingham in Littleton, Colorado, from 1968 until 1979.
Ms. Van Wagner became involved in her profession after her exposure to a television program, which discussed how kids were graduating from college but were not reading at the adult and college level. A great advocate of reading, she found this phenomenon astounding. Ms. Van Wagner began tutoring, which eventually grew into the desire to become a school teacher. This was partially motivated and inspired by Dr. Carol Nichols, Ms. Van Wagner’s teacher and mentor in an early childhood reading program.
In light of her myriad contributions to the field, Ms. Van Wagner was bestowed with the Colorado Scholars Award from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 1987 to 1991. She also won the Tuition Award from the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children in 1991. Furthermore, she was a member of the International Literacy Association, the Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado and the Golden Key Society. In her spare time, Ms. Van Wagner enjoys such diversions as reading, gardening, sketching, painting, tennis and collecting antiques.
Ms. Van Wagner felt proud of herself because she worked full-time and went to school, and was very proud of her endurance. Her students made it all worth it. She finds young children have such enthusiasm, and she tried to make things fun through learning and field trips.