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Champion for Adult and Community Education Retires after 50 Years in the Department

Elderly man smiling into camera

January 29, 2024 -- Over five decades, the Department of Adult and Community Education has gone through many changes, and Jim Reis has seen them all. Reis worked in Adult and Community Education for 50 years and played a large role in shaping the development of the department. 

“I’ve always worked in the Department of Adult and Community Education; [it’s been] my entire career,” Reis said. “I’ve been fortunate to be in many different positions in the department.”

Reis was instrumental in the development of Latchkey, a childcare program that provides care and education for children of working parents. He also wrote the first grant for Project Connect, which provides services to ensure that marginalized youth have access to a free and appropriate public education.

Reis said working through the intricacies of setting up new programming is one of the most rewarding parts of his work. 

“The challenges of locating different funding sources and implementing new programs is the reason why I’ve worked so many years,” Reis said. “There’s always something new.”

During his time with the department, Reis had the pleasure of working with talented colleagues. Adult and Community Education is a highly collaborative department, and Reis said collaboration is often a source of their success. 

“The people I work with are excellent,” he said. “Everyone is willing to help others. It’s really a great group of people.”

As Reis welcomed five decades in Adult and Community Education, he knew that his current role as Operations Coordinator for the department would be his last. Reis retires at the end of January and is looking forward to pursuing his passions of travel and pickleball. 

Although he is ready for the next chapter of his life, Reis is grateful for his years in the department. As he looks back on all that he has accomplished, Reis shared that he found his work incredibly gratifying and is proud of his impact on students across the District.

“These programs have a tremendous impact on [the lives of] individuals in the community,” Reis said. “To make a dramatic change in an individual’s life is very rewarding.”

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