On April 2 the Mayor and city will pay tribute to a Tucson native who has impacted thousands of lives in our community
Tucson, AZ (March 28, 2018) – She has made an impact on thousands of students since she first opened the doors of La Paloma Academy. On April 2, Tucson’s Mayor, Jonathan Rothschild, will officially issue a proclamation making April 2 Raena Janes Day in Tucson. The Mayor will bestow this honor on Janes for her commitment and devotion to making the city a better place with her incredible contributions to the community. The celebration will take place at La Paloma’s Central campus.
Janes’ story is a combination of drive, tears and determination. After writing her first charter and securing loans and bonds, she received the financing to open the first La Paloma Academy, Lakeside campus, in 2002. Only three years later, the school was awarded the State of Arizona’s Excellence in Education Award—a testament that her model of building a solid foundation for every child was a winner.
Inspired by how her tuition-free school was able to secure a better future for many of Tucson’s underserved children, she went on to open two more La Paloma campuses in Tucson. Because of her success with the three Tucson schools, she was asked to step-in and save financially troubled schools across the state; schools that are now thriving. The four schools that Janes saved from closing, and which she now runs, are Heritage Elementary Schools in Glendale and Williams, Arizona, and Liberty Traditional Schools in Phoenix and Douglas, Arizona. These schools are now under the umbrella of another company Janes founded, Apex Charter Services, which assists in establishing and managing charter schools throughout Arizona.
As a single mother of twins, Janes knows how every dollar counts and wants to help parents whenever she can. Consequently, all seven of Janes’ schools are tuition-free, but with a private school feel. She also offers free full-day kindergarten, free breakfast, free or reduced lunch as well as free before- and after-school care to make life easier for working parents.
Besides touching the lives of thousands of students, Janes has employed hundreds of Tucson’s finest teachers and staff since 2002, all of whom have shared Raena Janes’ goal to build a successful foundation of education and character.
After the mayor officially proclaims April 2 as Raena Janes Day, Janes will do what she has done since the start of her career; she will help others. The 5th grade class at La Paloma Central is cultivating a garden, and the fence and gate surrounding the garden needs repair. Janes plans on not only helping with the repairs, but will also help paint the fence and gate, and then will join with 5th graders in planting flowers in the garden. Growth, which is apropos when it comes to Janes and her mission.
Janes will then donate a cement table and benches to La Paloma Central, which the school has been trying to raise the funds to purchase. The table will include a plaque commemorating the day. She plans to do this each year on her day, moving to a different campus each year (Lakeside, South, Central).
In addition to her involvement in educating the community’s children, Janes recognized the parents of the children in her schools had a desire to own homes for their families but lacked the resources and support to realize the American dream. In response, Janes founded RJ Homes Real Estate Group in 2016. The goal of RJ Homes is to assist parents in becoming home owners. Janes and her team conduct free evening and weekend classes targeted to families who may consider it impossible to own their own home. Class topics range from credit and financing to taxes and down payment assistance.
Raena Janes heart extends even further. She has contributed to the community through participation in Angel Charity for Children, Hope Fest, Junior League of Tucson, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and more. She is also a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, which is committed to attracting, retaining, and growing high quality, high paying jobs for everyone in the community.
Join the Mayor and the community on April 2 in recognition of the impact and many accomplishments of Raena Janes, as Tucson celebrates Raena Janes Day.
To find out more about La Paloma Academy, please visit LPATucson.org.
About La Paloma Academy
As the largest and fastest-growing charter school system in Southern Arizona, La Paloma Academy continually discovers new fun and innovative ways to make the educational experience at each of its campuses entertaining and challenging. La Paloma Academy has three campuses: Central, near Grant and Wilmot; Lakeside, near Golf Links and Pantano; and South, near 12th Avenue and Drexel. Raena Janes, founder and charter holder of La Paloma Academy, focuses her efforts on education with individualized instruction. She believes in the incorporation of extracurricular activities and emphasis on the importance of family and community values. La Paloma Academy was awarded the State of Arizona’s 2005 Excellence in Education Award. In addition, Ms. Janes was named as one of Tucson’s 40 Under 40 in 2006, Phoenix’s 40 Under 40 in 2011 and Tucson’s Mentor of the Year in 2008. Visit the school’s website at https://lpatucson.org/.