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Dr Janet Heldt Jopke

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Dr Janet Heldt Jopke

  • Birth 4 Oct 1942
  • Death 1 Jun 2005
  • Burial Bay City, Bay County, Michigan, USA
  • Memorial ID 11084358

Janet was born in Bay City, Michigan, the daughter of Jerome H. Jopke and Florence E. (Weber) Jopke. She was a member of the Bay City Central High School Class of 1961, and was inducted into the Bay City Central "Hall of Fame." Her college degrees include a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts from Oakland University and an Education Specialist and Doctorate from Wayne State University. She taught in public schools in Bay City, Michigan, Norwalk, California, and West Bloomfield, Michigan. She served as a reading consultant, principal, coordinator of primary programs and assistant to the superintendent in Utica, Mich. She was also the former superintendent of schools in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. In its 50 year history, Dr. Jopke was the Troy School District's longest serving superintendent, having begun her career there in 1993. Under her leadership, Troy gained a national reputation as a premier school district. Honors awarded the district under her leadership included all schools achieving Michigan Exemplary status, all schools accredited by North Central Association and both Athens and Troy high schools being named one of the 98 top high schools by the U.S. News and World Report. Her professional activities include executive board member of the Metropolitan Bureau of School Studies, executive board member of the Tri-County Alliance, past national delegate of the American Association of School Administrators, a member of the Dean's Advisory Board and Alumni Association Board Member for the College of Education at Michigan State University, member of the Dean's Advisory Board at Oakland University and a past officer of Alpha Delta Kappa Honorary Educator's Sorority. Her community involvement includes past member of the board of directors of Henry Ford Hospital, Northeast, past chairperson of the Downtown Development Authority in Troy, Michigan, and past member of the board of directors of the Boys' and Girls' Club. She was selected for the Michigan State University College of Education Alumni Award for Outstanding K-12 Administrator and was given the "Distinguished Educator" award by Wayne State University College of Education Alumni Association in May 2005. She enjoyed spending leisure time at her home in Elk Rapids, Michigan. She passed away peacefully at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, after a month-long heart related illness. She is survived by her brother, Jerry Jopke; a goddaughter, Mrs. Brian (Stacie) Santhany; and a godson, Geoffrey Schwartz, all of Bay City, Mich.; as well as several cousins.

Eulogy: "On the first day of school each year, Troy Schools Superintendent Janet H. Jopke would ride alongside a busload of kindergarteners to experience anew the nervousness and excitement of the milestone event. "She loved to see the kindergarteners and their parents with cameras and video cameras," said her brother, Jerry Jopke. "She loved her job and she never lost that sense of fun. She always put the children first." Ms. Jopke, the Troy School District's longest-serving superintendent, died of a heart attack at the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor after a monthlong battle with heart-related problems. Ms. Jopke of Troy, Michigan, who joined the district as superintendent in 1993, is credited with helping Troy to develop a national reputation of excellence. During her tenure, all 19 of the district's elementary, middle and high schools earned accreditation from the North Central Association and both Troy and Athens high schools landed on a list of the top 98 high schools in America by U.S. News & World Report. Ms. Jopke was particularly proud that Troy voters in May approved a bond issue to pay for school upgrades, according to her brother. "She was very pleased with that. She was very happy to be in a community that supported schools and education," Jerry Jopke said. The daughter of a teacher, Ms. Jopke earned her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and her doctorate from Wayne State University, according to her brother. She taught in Bay City, West Bloomfield and in California before returning to Michigan and joining the Utica Community Schools in 1971. She worked in Utica until 1989, when she was named superintendent of the Lakeview Public Schools in St. Clair Shores. She moved to Troy in 1993. At the Utica schools, Ms. Jopke served as assistant to Don Bemis during his tenure as superintendent of the Utica district. Dr. Jopke's generous and kind nature made her a good friend, Bemis said. "She was a charismatic personality (with) lots of natural leadership abilities," he said. "She had that unique ability to be charismatic and also serious about academic structure." "


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Always with Love
  • Added: 3 Jun 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11084358
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Janet Heldt Jopke (4 Oct 1942–1 Jun 2005), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11084358, citing Elm Lawn Cemetery, Bay City, Bay County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .