Joan A. Droit had a lifetime commitment to children and young adults. For 40 years she was a Grand Island teacher, beginning at the elementary level, and retiring from the high school, where she taught English, humanities and social studies and was always active in school activities.
She also taught for two summers in Niagara Falls and worked for two years as part of the UAW/GM Quality Education Program at Powertrain. As part of the Western New York Writers program at Canisius College she taught in the summer Young Writers Camp program.
Her love of reading and literature continued as she led a weekly Book Discussion Group at the Golden Age Center. She was on the executive board of the Miracle League of GI/WNY, a director of the Peace Education Fund, a member of Zonta, and a member and past president of the Grand Island Historical Society. For many years she was an assistant to Lee Tetkowski in the Kids Voting program. Additionally, she was trained as a BBB consumer advocate.
She was a current member of the Grand Island Board of Education, elected twice, after having attended meetings for two years seeking information about the schools. She brought a civility and a strong educational background to board meetings that made for a positive contribution.
"Joan will be missed," said school board President Tak Nobumoto. "She had a huge impact on the board and on this district. Children were always her first interest. No matter where she went, she commanded respect, both at board meetings and within the schools. We benefited from her wisdom."
He added, "She may not have had a personal family, but she had a huge family here on the Island. She was a leading force for civility and courteousness and cooperation among board members." He noted that even though she had retired, she was often seen at school events: athletic, cultural, musical.
Joan Droit felt that Grand Island students responded well to the district's high academic standards and were performing beautifully, particularly in the areas of the arts and athletics. She always was eager to raise standards for all students and to find opportunities for them to participate in internships and service events.
A graduate of Buffalo State College, where she earned her bachelor of science and master's degrees, she completed additional graduate work at the University of Buffalo, Canisius College and Niagara University.