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 never took that for granted; she also worked hard. That’s who she 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 that she would serve our country with distinction. She mastered six foreign languages and served eight tours of duty abroad.
I was so proud when she became our consul general in Düsseldorf, Germany, putting to use again the German learned in my class.
In 1988, I nominated Weiner 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 her life.
Now she has stepped up to serve as state senator for Senate District 37.
I can’t think of a more qualified candidate.