The director of Jessamine County’s adult-education program is retiring 23 years after she brought the program into being.
Janice Crane has submitted her resignation to the Jessamine County Board of Education; her contract will end June 30. The 63-year-old said her decision came from having a tough year with some personal loss and from looking ahead to big changes necessary to adapt to a new GED test.
“There are some new changes coming down the pike, and it’s going to take somebody with a little more energy than I have to put into it right now to meet those challenges,” Crane said. “It’s not just in my best interests; it’s in the best interest of the program that I retire at this point.”
Crane said she had already decided to retire in 2014 but that her personal struggles led her to step down a year sooner.
“If I could just take some time off and then come back, that might be different, but I can’t — this is not a good time to say I need a year break to get my personal life together,” she said.
When Crane came to Jessamine County in 1989 after 15 years in Fayette County adult education, she worked part-time in a literacy program. She then wrote a grant for adult-education funding from the state, and, as she said, “the rest is history.”
Jessamine County Adult Education began GED testing in the early 1990s and has had approximately 100 students pass the test each year since then, Crane said.
“The students make us proud; the students work really hard,” she said. “... There are some really great people who didn’t get their high-school diploma who have been really successful.”
Superintendent Lu Young called Crane “synonymous with adult education in Jessamine County” and said she would be desperately missed.
“She has devoted her professional life to the mission of teaching adults to read and to increase their employability skills — it has been her life's work,” Young said. “She makes wonderful connections with the people and families she serves, and I know they will be equally as sad to see her go.”
The program moved to different locations around the county six times in its first 21 years before nestling into its current scenic location — the former Providence School building — on Computrex Drive in 2011.
The current version of the GED test expires at the end of 2013, with the new 2014 GED test coming on line Jan. 2, 2014. The new test aims to measure college- and career-readiness skills currently being integrated into high-school curriculum.
Crane said she strongly advised anyone pursuing a GED to get it before the new test begins next year, bringing harsher requirements and a higher price tag.
“If they want their GED, they better get it now,” she said. “It’s not only going to be twice as much money and really not very cost-effective for us — we will have less ability to give GED scholarships, because we’ll be getting less than a third of the cost for a full-battery test per person. It just takes a lot of money.”
Crane’s position has been posted on the Jessamine County school district’s job register. She said she will be working with the new director as soon as he or she is hired to provide as seamless a transition as possible.
“As jobs go, it’s been a pleasure,” she said. “I’m looking forward to what’s next.”