Janet Fleske: small town celebrity

Mrs. Fleske’s “Volunteer of the Year” award

Janet Fleske plays a vital role in everything Larned. Many students know her as the small-town photographer or as a strictly-sweet substitute, but what a lot of people seem to leave out is that Janet Fleske is still a very valuable asset even after retirement. 

When it comes to filling in for teachers as substitute teacher or photographing events, Mrs. Fleske is the person for the job. One of the many ways that Mrs. Fleske gives back to the community is by being students’ go-to photographer for their senior pictures. Almost all seniors at LHS look forward to getting their senior photos taken by Janet Fleske, not only because of how well they look in the end but also because of their experience with Janet as they capture their senior photos.  

Another reason why the community appreciates Janet is her volunteer work at Larned events. If you walk into almost any Larned event including sports games, Pawnee County parades, 4-H events, and many more, you will most likely see Janet Fleske there with her camera ready to document memories for years to come. Emma Thompson stated that “My favorite photograph that Janet Fleske has taken was our win at home during this volleyball season, you can see all of our excitement on our faces which means so much.”

Photography isn’t the only thing that Janet Fleske does to serve Larned, she is also a popular substitute teacher around LHS. Casey Smith says “I know a lot of people who are scared of Mrs. Fleske because they think she is very strict, but I absolutely love her. She is a great substitute and tries to really teach us the subject and make sure we understand everything instead of just saying it and leaving.” These great teaching skills come from her 27 years of teaching and 20 years of being a substitute teacher. 

The Larned community does, however, recognize Mrs. Fleskes’s talent. In fact, she received the “2022 Volunteer of the Year” award (As shown to the side) which was very greatly deserved. When asked why she chooses to do all that she does Janet Fleske says “I believe that God gives each one of us gifts for us to use for his glory. They change throughout our life, of course, but I think God has given me a gift of encouragement and service.”  She additionally stated “I was also raised in a family where we were taught to serve others whether it was in our church, in our community, in

4-H, or in any other way that we could.” Janet is such an inspiration to young Larned students as she continues to serve others in all the ways that she can. 

All in all, Mrs. Fleske surely is the Larned small-town celebrity and Larned is very lucky to have her.