AAUW Leader in Education Awards May 16, 2015
The Geneva Lake Branch of the American Association of University Women held their annual spring brunch on Saturday, May 16 at The Highlands of Geneva Crossing. One of the highlights was the presentation of the Leader in Education awards to two outstanding people in our community. In addition to honoring them at our May Brunch, a donation is made in each honoree's name to the AAUW Education Fund. This honor is presented to individuals who have demonstrated vision, inspiration and have made an outstanding contribution to our community. Our first Leader in Education to be recognized is:
Jane Pegel who has a fascinating background and, in light of the emphasis AAUW places on Title IX, has been a shining example of success in athletics and educational leadership. She has retired from competitive sailing, but her influence through the Lake Geneva Yacht Club continues to be strong. During the decades that she raced, she inspired her fellow sailor - girls and boys, men and women - with her expertise and her intellectual approach to equipment, preparation and practice, attention to detail, and analysis of weather conditions.
At the Geneva Lake Sailing School as an instructor and later as the director, Jane shared her expertise both in the classroom and on the lake with a generation of sailors, stressing teamwork, sportsmanship, and safety, and introducing many of them to what would become
their lifetime sport. Jane also served on the school's Board of Directors and as its president.
Under the heading US Sailing, which is the national authority for the sport of sailing, Jane was the manager of the US Team at the 1983 International Yacht Racing Union Women's World championship in New Zealand. Jane was the recipient in 1953 and again in 1990 of the Edmund Pillsbury Memorial Cup for compiling the outstanding record at the ILYA Annual Regatta those years. Jane was the only woman to receive this award until 2009; and she was inducted into the Inland Lake Yachting Association Hall of Fame in 2008, the only woman so honored to date.
At the Lake Geneva Yacht Club, she is, and has been for many years, Chief Judge at the yacht club, resolving protests and sharing with sailors young and old her knowledge of the racing rules of sailing; and she has been the recipient of the yacht club's special service award which demonstrates to the members the importance the club puts on her ongoing volunteerism and committee work.
Jane's varied achievements, her selection three times as US yachtswoman of the Year, her contributions and dedication to the sport of sailing have certainly had an impact on the Geneva Lake community and continue to inspire us all. Jane and her husband Bob were both involved in summer and winter sailing, and Jane remains particularly interested in the programs for children at the club and school, serving every week on the race committee for the kids racing. Jane is truly an educator and an outstanding woman leader in our community.