EAST LANSING, Mich. — Inside the Breslin Center at Michigan State University, it’s hard to miss the fans and the band and Jan Alleman.
She really lights up the room with her dancing, which the help of a giant screen hanging from the ceiling.
When the team holds court, all eyes are down on the floor. But in a timeout they all look up and wait because they know who their cheerleader is.
“In my view it’s all about passion,” Alleman said
If Alleman can inspire an arena, imagine what she can do face to face.
“I’ve had three teachers in my life. One in middle school, one in high school and then I think about my lifelong teacher, Jan Alleman," Mason Middle School Principal Teb Berryhill said.
You really don’t know Alleman until you visit her at work, and then it becomes as clear as a giant video screen.
Teachers in the Mason School District, where she works as an instructional consultant, call her a mentor and a life coach.
“Our HR director, the superintendent and several other people on staff were all former students of hers,” Berryhill said.
Alleman says, “everybody needs a cheerleader.”
She taught social studies education at MSU for 45 years, and, then, in a flash, life changed. The love of her life, her everything, her husband George died.
She knew she had to reinvent herself. So ten years ago she started a new career, and, just like in the arena, she’s become the best-known face in the Mason School District.
"My job in my view is to release the talents of teachers and kids,” Alleman said.
The teachers agree. So does Mason Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki.
“Every time I see her car pull up in the parking lot I get fired up," he said, "every time I see Jan I smile."
How can everyone here feel like Jan is one of the most important people in their lives, that they are better human beings because of her.
She changed so many changed lives that if you gathered all of them up you’d fill an arena
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