Janice Flatz has a motto: if there is something to be done, she would always be happy to help.
“Everyone is capable of helping and everyone is good at something. I think everyone should volunteer and do whatever they can for others,” she said.
All year, Flatz works in various ways to give back to her community. From school food and clothing drives to helping with Christmas dinners and gifts, Flatz does everything she can to pay kindness toward those she meets, and even strangers, too.
“All I want to do is just help make these kids happy,” Flatz said.“There are chances to help out everywhere, all you have to do is go find them.”
Despite all she does, Flatz still feels like there is more she can do for the city of Portage.
“I hope that I can expand a lot of new programs during the summer,” Flatz said. “I want to get my hands into everything I can, it makes me happy to help.”
Flatz also likes to help others with her job as a preschool teacher. She has been a teacher for the last 15 years, originally getting her start at a YMCA. Eventually, she opened up her own preschool, Discovery Kids. Flatz has known she has wanted to be a teacher her whole life.
“This job is all I ever wanted to do. I love it,” Flatz said. “My favorite moment is watching the kids finally get it and seeing how excited they get.”
Flatz took all the classes she could in high school and just grew into it. The real reason is because of the relationship that she and her sister had as children.
“Growing up I was like another mom for my sister,” Flatz said. “I feel like this is what I was meant for. I have always had fun being a teacher.”
Flatz was born and raised in Portage, and with her family here, she does not plan on moving anytime soon.
“I have been able to watch this community grow ever since I was a kid,” Flatz said. “I live in such a great neighborhood and there is so much to do and it is a nice community.”