Janice Weiner first walked into my German classroom at Iowa City West when she was 15. I quickly learned that she was gifted in languages, but she didn’t take it for granted — she also worked hard. That’s who Janice is.
She spent her senior year as an AFS exchange student to Belgium, and we corresponded. During college and law school, whenever she was in town, she called. And when she joined the U.S. State Department, I knew beyond a doubt that she would serve our country with distinction. She mastered six foreign languages and served eight tours of duty abroad.
In 1990, I nominated Janice for West High’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni award. Posted to still-divided East Berlin, she returned for the ceremony and spoke about life in a totalitarian versus a free society. She urged students to engage — not to take anything for granted. I wish I had a video of that talk — it has been Janice’s life.
I was so happy when Janice chose to come home after her State Department career. Characteristically, she delved straight into working with community organizations. Now she has stepped up to serve our city as a city council member. I can’t think of a better candidate.