Jacob Wiens Daughter Lorraine Wiens Colton Visited Jacob Wiens Elementary on November 17, 2014 for a Friday Flag Ceremony and shared the following thoughts:
I remember the first time I went to Jacob Wiens Elementary and saw labels on everything with his name spelled right! I was so excited that I called my brothers. Most people spell it wrong every time! (But Jacob Wiens School got it right!)
I’m sure you’ve wondered why your school has such a strange name! At the time when the school was planned, all other schools in Hemet Unified were named after a location, like Hemet Elementary, Hemet High, Little Lake, Acacia, Whittier, Dartmouth, etc. Ramona Elementary was named after our famous pageant, but nobody had every named a school after a person.
When the school was being planned, the committee who recommended Jacob Wiens’ name, wanted to honor him, because he was a beloved, and respected former Superintendent of Schools. He was not only the Superintendent, but he was active in every part of the community from the Ramona Pageant to lots of different organizations where he was a great volunteer, to his church where he was a teacher and choir director. He was loved by teachers, students, and townspeople.
He loved kids, all ages, from all backgrounds. He was a great storyteller and really fun song leader. If he were here today he would teach you a fun song have you all singing, guaranteed! He was never too busy to spend time with kids-taking groups to the beach, mountains, skating rink, directing camps, etc.
Like many children here at Jacob Wiens Elementary School, English was his 2nd language. He was born far away in Siberia which is a part of Russia. His father had studied in Switzerland and his mother had studied nursing because they planned to be missionaries to India, to help the people there and tell them about God. Soon after Jacob was born, they sailed on a big ship to India where they lived for 6 years. His 2 brothers were born there.
When he was 6, his family came to America, to Los Angeles where he started first grade. His family spoke German, and he did not know English, but he soon learned it and became a good student. His parents became American citizens and all his life, Jacob Wiens loved America and was so thankful to live here.
They moved to the Central Valley in California where his father was a banker. When Jacob was 13, his father was killed in a tragic accident. Jacob was very responsible, and became the man of the family. He and his brothers helped their mother, did odd jobs, sold household goods door to door, etc., all the while excelling in school and being active in their church community. They had no grandparents, aunts, or uncles to help them, but they had many friends and they trusted God. Jacob was always a leader and good example to others.
Jacob was an excellent musician, and played several instruments, so when he went to college, he majored in music and became a band, orchestra, and choral director. All of his life he was involved with music. In every town where he lived, he directed the choir at his church, and often directed pageants, and music programs in the towns.
When we moved to Hemet, my brothers and I went to High School right here, where Jacob Wiens School is. It was the football field when I went to school. My husband helped build the football stadium right here 60 years ago. When they got ready to build Jacob Wiens, the school district tore down the old stadium and built a new stadium at Hemet High.
So now you know a little bit about Jacob Wiens, who was, by the way, the best Dad in the world! He would love to meet each of you. Even when he was old and had a bad sickness and didn’t have long to live, he always loved to spend time with kids. He would sit down on the floor and play games and sing songs with the little ones and talk and get to know the older kids. He genuinely cared about all kids and didn’t forget them. And they knew it and loved him for it.
Mr. Wiens was a humble man and would have said no to having a school named after him. But if he had to choose a school to carry his name, I know he would have chosen this school.
Submitted by Jacob Wiens’ daughter, Lorraine Wiens Colton