Face to Face: Tonganoxie reading specialist Janet Falk
Name: Janet Falk
Born: Winchester. She grew up in Valley Falls.
Family: Husband, Trey; daughter, Lacie, who just graduated from Kansas State University; and sons David, who will be a sophomore at K-State; Luke, who will be a junior at Tonganoxie High School, and Alex, who will be a freshman at THS.
Occupation: Reading specialist at Tonganoxie Elementary School.
Dream job as a child: Falk always wanted to be a teacher.
“I liked working with people, especially kids,” Falk said.
Interesting fact: She is the youngest of 15 children. Oh, and she has a twin brother. He was born 12 hours ahead of her. Both weighed 9 pounds, 9 ounces.
Digging deeper: Falk graduated from Valley Falls High School in 1984 and graduated from K-State with a bacehlor’s in elementary education. She then earned a master’s in reading and language arts from KSU.
She taught four years in Topeka and six in Salina. Falk is entering her ninth year teaching in Tonganoxie.
Falk is involved with the Happy Helpers 4-H Club, is a volunteer at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, is on the Leavenworth County 4-H Council and helps with the TES Book Buggy program in the summer. She also served years with the Tonganoxie Middle School Parent Teacher Organization.
And, in 2009, she started the Tongie Tidal Waves swim team. Falk said her children swam on teams in Lansing and Bonner Springs previously. When the new Tonganoxie Water Park was built, it included six swimming lanes. Falk, with help from Bonner Springs’ Pam Maughmer, started the Tonganoxie team.
“They had done a fantastic job renovating the pool,” Falk said. “They made certain to include lap lanes in hopes that they could have a swim team in the community.”
At one time, her family lived in Chicago where swimming was pretty popular. Lacie wanted to swim and so the family got involved with swim teams.
“We found the reason we really liked it, even today, was because it was family oriented,” Falk said. “Kids could swim at different ages. Everyone could be there and be involved.”
Falk said she likes to read in her spare time and to be outside in her garden or with her children as they work on 4-H animal projects.
“I truly enjoy getting my fresh air and enjoy all the beauty nature has to offer.”