Getting to Know
Jane Cragen is a coordinator of the Johnson County Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Franklin Community Teachers Association and the Daily Journal.
Cragen is retiring from coordinating the event, which she has done since its inception about 15 years ago.
Reporter Magen Kritsch recently asked her the following questions:
How did the idea for a countywide spelling bee come about?
An Indianapolis newspaper used to be in charge of the bee, but the man in charge retired. (Franklin Community Teachers Association) went to the Daily Journal and said that we had workers but no money to put into having a bee. The Daily Journal graciously agreed to fund the bee if FCTA manned the bee.
What is the hardest word a student has had to spell?
If you ask any participant in the bee, the word they misspelled is the hardest word on the list.
What is the best way for a speller to prepare?
The more you read, the better your vocabulary and your spelling. But if you are preparing for this bee, the best thing to do is to study the beginning words.
What are you most looking forward to in retirement?
In retirement, I will no longer be bound by a watch.
What is your favorite aisle in the grocery store?
If you have an hour of free time, what are you most likely to do?
I love being outside, so I might work in the garden or just sit in the swing and read.
Name a book that has had an effect on you.
Outside of the Scriptures, I would choose the book “Number the Stars.” I read it every year to my students, and every year I am reminded of the goodness that fights evil in this world.
If you weren’t an educator, what would you be doing?
I would be retired.
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I own more than I need.
How many text messages do you send in a month?
Zero. If you communicate with me, it is by phone or e-mail.
If you won a million dollars, what is the first thing you would buy?
I would buy the family farm. It’s been in the same family for 175 years, and it would be so nice to ensure that it will stay in the family.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I will be enjoying my retirement with faith, family, friends, gardens and music.