April 17th, 2024

School board trustee remembered for decades of service

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on April 23, 2022.

Lethbridge school board vice chair speaks to reporters at the school division offices in 2016. Herald file photo

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Longtime Lethbridge school trustee Janice Foster has died at the age of 81.
Foster, who just last fall chose not to run again for the Lethbridge School District board, died at home Tuesday.
Foster was a long-time advocate for the under-privileged, at-risk children and children with special needs. She fostered more than 60 kids in her home over the years.
Foster served one term on city council and was on the boards of many other organizations in her life. In her professional career, she sold real estate and worked as a civilian administrative assistant with the RCMP.
She also ran the charitable foundation of St. Michael’s Health Centre for nearly a decade and helped raise millions of dollars for palliative care.
In an interview last fall before sitting at her final board meeting after a total of nearly 23 years, Foster said “it’s time to move on.”
Foster was first elected to the board in 1983 and stayed on until 1992. She ran for office again in 2007 after retiring from St. Mike’s and was re-elected every year since.
During her time on the board, she witnessed many changes in technology, budgeting and she also was on the board during the construction of six schools.
“One of the really positive changes is much more emphasis being placed on the trades now. And not only in the high schools but even in the middle schools, they’re starting to work with kids who are interested in the trades even to the point where we have a partnership with the college so that high school kids can be working in trades and then they’re given some credit when they graduate and move on into the college. I think that’s been a really really positive change,” she told The Herald.
“When I was first elected as trustee, I don’t think anybody really even had computers. We all just kind of did everything by phones and there was none of this emails back and forth. But I think we’ve done a really good job getting kids educated in different aspects of technology. It doesn’t matter what you’re going to do when you graduate, that affects your life and so I think that’s a good thing.”
Foster was a founding member of the Lethbridge Family Centre and Lethbridge Association for Adults and Children with Learning Disabilities.
She is survived by son Greg and his wife Stephanie, their children and other family members.
Alex Hann, former mayor of Coaldale, spoke highly of Foster.
“Jan Foster was just as fine an individual as one could ever meet in life. She loved her community and was always working hard for the betterment of it, be city council or as a board member of the school district,” said Hann in a statement.
“Most of all, she loved her family and especially her grandsons and shared their achievements and milestones with her Facebook friends. She always had time for people. I appreciated her candor and her advice,” Hann added.

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