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Celebrating Women’s History Month – Joan Payne

New Directions’ Responsibility Award is represented by the legacy of Joan Payne

Joan Payne – far left


No situation was too small to be considered important by Joan Payne. For Joan, if a child needed something, there was no question that it would be provided. In her time as a night worker she kept watch over the Keep and Hodge wings for children who couldn’t or wouldn’t sleep. Her sincere, motherly caring and her dedication to making sure the children were safe and well-rested were an irresistible force that induced sleepiness in any child.

As a cook, her mission was to ensure that the Home was well provisioned, that children were well-fed, and that tasty, attractive meals were served on time. Because of her concern and feeling of responsibility for the success of each child, she often volunteered to take a particularly energetic youngster who was having lots of living group conflicts into her kitchen to learn some culinary skills. While the child was there, cooking became less important and caring became more important.

Joan was the essence of responsibility. She was dedicated and dependable. She liked the children and cared deeply about them. She knew how to talk so kids would listen and how to listen so kids would talk. She treasured her time with the children at Wyndham Lawn and made it happier place for children and staff, all because her sense of responsibility covered anything and everything.

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