Curtain call

MIS renames theater in honor of Jan Click

Jan Click says she knows who really should be recognized.

Click was honored when the Maryville City School Board named the theater at Maryville Intermediate School in her honor.

The former MIS principal, who retired at the end of the 2009-10 academic year, was quick to divert attention when honored at the Aug. 16 reception.

“It was very humbling to take this recognition when, in truth, the recognition should go to the teachers,” Click said. “They are the ones who make it happen day-in and day-out.”

Click said she was amazed at the teachers who came back to school for the reception after working all day.

“The reception was just really nice. It was so thoughtful and very well done and just perfect. I appreciated it very much,” Click said. “The teachers coming reminded me of that collaborative effort we built that school around. It is one thing to be able to lead, but it is just as important to have people who are good teammates and are willing to follow someone who is leading,” she said. “I was fortunate to have a group of teachers who were very dedicated to the programming we were trying to build at MIS. That is what it took to make it happen.”

Click was the principal who opened the school in 2000 and praised now retired Director of Schools Dr. Mike Dalton. “He was very instrumental in paving the way for us to get the programming going and accomplish what we did,” she said. “I was joking with him that they should be naming the theater after him because it got cut from budget two times during construction, and he went to bat to have it left in the plans for the school. We were building programming around it and needed it.”

Beth Fain and Larry Headrick, assistant principals at MIS, organized the reception.

“That theater represents so much about the vision Jan had for the way this school could be bring students together for performances and be a place the community could come to see us and let us see them,” Fain said. “That was a pivotal part of our school.”

Fain said they submitted paperwork to the school board to have the theater named after Click in the spring. The school board officially approved it the evening of the reception.

“Her family was there and faculty, and it was one last time to appreciate her.” Fain said.

After the vote by the board to name the theater in Click’s honor, everyone went into the hallway and uncovered a plaque that read:

‘“Janice P. Click: This theater is dedicated to the enduring vision and leadership of our first principal Jan Click. Her tireless efforts toward the design of the building, the implementation of the curriculum and the nurturing of the collaborative culture of our school will continue to enhance the lives of our students for years to come.”

School board members said the naming of the theater for Click was significant because normally “naming” honors went to people who are deceased, adding that the board had compelling reasons why Click should receive this honor.

Maryville Schools Director Stephanie Thompson said Click had influenced many, many students during her 36 years in education.

“Her legacy will be how she created this school. I can’t imagine anybody doing a better job,” Thompson said.

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