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Jan Peters, former Buffalo school board member and community leader

May 23, 1946 – April 10, 2016

Jan Peters, a former member of the Buffalo School Board and executive director of the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, died unexpectedly April 10 in her Buffalo home. She was 69.

Born Janice Boone in Augsburg, Germany, to a military family, she moved to Long Island as a girl and completed middle school and high school in Rome, N.Y.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University at Buffalo in 1968, then completed a master’s degree in urban studies at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She was selected as a National Urban Fellow in 1974 and interned for a year as executive assistant to then-Mayor Coleman Young in Detroit.

Returning to Buffalo, Ms. Peters served as director of the Buffalo Community Development Organization, special assistant to Buffalo’s commissioner of human resources, director of the Public Service Careers program for Buffalo’s Model Cities Agency, assistant coordinator for the Day Care Council of Erie County and assistant director of research and development for the Opportunities Development Corp.

She also was an instructor at SUNY Buffalo State and Millard Fillmore College at UB, where she taught classes in black history, English and the social dynamics of poverty.

In 1977, she was hired as director of the Neighborhood House Association, a settlement house founded in 1983 and based in Buffalo’s Fruit Belt neighborhood. Four years later, she achieved its merger with Westminster Community House, another Buffalo settlement house that was founded in 1894. The merged organization became the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers.

Ms. Peters oversaw the growth of BFNC to become one of the area’s leading human service agencies, developing programs to help those with mental illness, developmental disabilities and addictions. She also established the Moot Senior Citizens Center adjacent to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. She retired in 2013.

She was elected to the Buffalo School Board in 1995, representing the Central District. She chaired several committees and was board liaison to the Joint Schools Construction Board, which undertook a major program of school renovation and reconstruction.

She was promoted to fill the Rev. Darius Pridgen’s at-large seat when he left the board in 2002 and served as the board’s vice president. She did not seek re-election in 2004.

She was a founding member and first president of the Buffalo Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women; president and treasurer of the Community Enterprise Federal Credit Union, and president of the Housing Assistance Center of the Niagara Frontier. She also served on the boards of numerous community organizations, from the Pratt-Willert Revitalization Corp. to Leadership Buffalo. She also was active in Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

She received many honors, including a 1988 Buffalo News Citizen of the Year Award, the NCCJ Sisterhood Award and Everywoman Opportunity Center Award, both in 1992; and the 1994 Buffalo NAACP Human Relations Award.

Survivors include two sisters, Ranee Arledge and Lisa Boone-Reddick; and a brother, Jeffrey Boone.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in St. John Baptist Church, 184 Goodell St.

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