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Jewel in our crown stepping down: Leader in sex education to retire from Planned Parenthood after 38 years

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PPWNM proudly, fondly and reluctantly bids farewell to Vice President of Education and Leadership Development Janis A. Lunquist, MA after 38 years of service. Lunquist is widely recognized as an expert in sexuality education, even appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
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Books and Learning Tools from Jan Lunquist:

Believing that learning must be an engaging and active process and that curriculum must be designed with the audience and its uniqueness ever in mind, Lunquist co-authored the teaching manual, PEER EDUCATION...A Little Help from Your Friends in 1993 and co-edited the 2004 revised edition. She was the editor of the original Ready or Not teen parenting simulation game in 1997 and co-edited the 2011 revised edition. Lunquist edited several learning tools for parents and their children, including Growing Up: A Celebration (for girls) in 1998; Growing Up: A Boy's Guide in 2000; and the Parent Toolkit in 2010. She co-authored, New Expectations: Sexuality Education for Mid and Later Life, 2003 and Older, Wiser, Sexually Smarter: 30 Sex Ed Lessons for Adults Only, 2009.    

/courtesy of PPWNM

/courtesy of PPWNM

Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) proudly, fondly and reluctantly bids farewell to Vice President of Education and Leadership Development Janis A. Lunquist, MA, at the end of 2012, after 38 years of service! Lunquist is widely recognized as an expert in sexuality education, even appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and is responsible for starting and growing the education program at Planned Parenthood in Kent County, and later, across west and northern Michigan.

"I don't look at this as retiring," said Lunquist, "I am 'refiring' into a new future and dipping into my bucket list. I do not have specific plans - but I am interested to find out which slip of paper will get pulled out of that bucket first, and what new adventures await!"

Lunquist clocked in as a volunteer at Planned Parenthood Association of Kent County in 1974 and never clocked out. While the affiliate has changed names and grown to include 52 counties, Lunquist's passion for the right of every growing and grown-up person to accurate sexual health information, communication skills and access to support has stayed the course.

Her role in the organization has also changed over the years with Lunquist filling positions as communications specialist, media liaison, community presenter, pregnancy counselor and certified sex educator. In 1978, Lunquist accepted the title of education director and continued to build a nationally recognized Planned Parenthood education and training department, eventually becoming a vice president on the local affiliate's senior leadership team.

Since then, Lunquist has designed and delivered hundreds of learning experiences related to the life-affirming gift of sexuality. She is an accomplished author, creator of several sexual health learning tools and winner of numerous local and national awards (see details below).

"Watching the light bulbs go on in the eyes of young people and parents during lessons is what has kept me motivated in this work over four decades. Knowledge is such a life-changing force," Lunquist said. 

"Jan has been a remarkable asset, not only to this agency but to the families of our community," said PPWNM President/CEO Katherine Humphrey. "She is recognized nationally for her leadership, creativity and drive; and her commitment to providing people of all ages with access to age appropriate, culturally sensitive and medically accurate sexuality education.

"Jan has played a unique and very important leadership role within Planned Parenthood. Thanks to her vision, her leadership and expertise and her tireless hard work, PPWNM's education programs and services are among the best in the country. We will honor the legacy Jan leaves with our continued and unwavering commitment to deliver PPWNM's education and training services with the same standards of excellence our communities have come to know and expect."

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