MONTICELLO — After a short time away from helping usher school children and staff into school, the statue and bench dedicated to longtime local teacher Jan Miglin is back at it after being moved from Lincoln Elementary to Washington Elementary School.
After prep work that included a patterned concrete pad laid by the City of Monticello, landscaping by MHS agriculture students and planning by city staff, school maintenance employees placed the bench on its new location Sept. 17.
Miglin was a teacher from 1960 until 2000, all but three of those years in Monticello, and most of them as a kindergarten instructor.
As a matter of fact, along with Vida Bachman, Miglin was Monticello’s first kindergarten teacher. Miglin enjoyed it so much that she continued in that role until retiring.
“Jan left a positive impact on our community, and it is wonderful that the statue in her honor is placed in a prominent location for students to enjoy for years to come,” former Lincoln Principal and current Washington Assistant Principal Mary Vogt said.
Lincoln Elementary closed to students this school year after a facilities project added a classroom wing at Washington. Lincoln had housed the youngest of the district students, from Small Wonders preschool through first grade for several years. Those grade levels are now at Washington Elementary.
Miglin was present for the original statue dedication in 2008, but passed away in 2018. So Vogt consulted with her widow Carl to ask whether he thought it should stay where his wife had taught, or move to Washington with the students.
“He expressed that he thought it would be best to keep it with the students,” Vogt said.
It is now seen near the entry at Washington, providing some photo opportunities and reminding all who pass by of a dedicated teacher who spent nearly four decades teaching students in Monticello.
The statue and bench, featuring a young girl and boy reading, is meant to “honor all children discovering the joy of reading and learning,” according to the program from the 2008 dedication.
It was created by sculptor Maxwell Turner.