If you have ever been in the Church of Christ, you may have heard students calling for “Mama Jan.”
They are referring to Jan Norris, who has worked in the Tri-C for the past four years.
This is not her first time being a part of the KC community. Norris was a Rangerette from 1964 to 1966.
Prior to trying out, she was a cheerleader at Pine Tree High School.
Norris’ next venture at KC was in 2010 when Brit Davis, Tri-C director asked her to volunteer. They attended church together.
Norris said she thought it would be fun, so she accepted.
“It has been a blessing, and I had really enjoyed working with the kids,” Norris said.
Part of her job is to clean, cook and decorate for the weekly Monday dinner. Norris contacts different churches ahead of time to let them know it is their turn to bring the food, which she helps prepare for the Thursday lunches.
The process begins at 10:15 a.m. Norris helps put everything out and gets the table ready. The lunches are open to all KC students and employees.
“I keep the place straight… If any of the [students] have problems I’m here to listen,” Norris said. “I’m here when Britt has to leave. I’m the adult in charge when he’s gone.”
When she is not at the Tri-C, she works around the house and volunteers at We Care on Mondays, where she mentors elementary students.
She also likes to read and work on crossword puzzles. While it might be fun to her, it can get difficult.
Norris sees some of her old classmates while taking water aerobics with former schoolmates.
She was called back for a photo shoot with six Rangerettes in uniform and 14 former Rangerettes.
“It was really funny because the photographer called them the newbies and he called us the ladies,” Norris said.
After KC she attended the University of Texas for a semester and then transferred to Stephen F. Austin State University.
While at SFA she left school to get married, then after 21 years went back to SFA to complete her degree. She retired to take care of her grandchildren after teaching for 12 years.
What she enjoyed most about being a Rangerette was the camaraderie with all the girls, and learning the dances.
“I haven’t had any formal dancing and that was fun learning all of that. It was hard, but it was a lot of fun.” Norris said.
Norris’ favorite routine was a field routine during a TJC game. After they left the field they returned with cowboy hats and drums, beating to the rhythm of an apache song. They finished with a routine to “Ragtime Cowboy Joe.”
She also enjoyed traveling with the organizations. They performed in the Astrodome, Cotton Bowl, and marched in many parades Christmas.
Norris was a Rangerette during the 25th Anniversary. For the big homecoming game that year, they honored the year passed by bringing back the old routines.
She also remembers preforming in the Rangerette Revels.
“I love the Revels. They called it Ranger Roundup,” Norris said. “We didn’t have as many performances during the week as they do now.”
One of the routines she did was a tap dance. They would tap dance and the flag would come down in the background.
“It was patriotic, it just felt really good.” Norris said.
Norris said the popularly of the Revels is amazing, especially seeing all the students that come from the different schools to watch. As technology is getting better, so are the routines.
“I’m always amazed how good they are.” Norris said, “It feels every year they get better and better. You don’t think they could be any better but they do.”