Fauquier Social Services Director Jan Selbo loves to hike in her free time.
My pet peeve is sidewalks. There are not enough and they are not wide enough . . . . I would like to see the town much less dependent on cars. I would love to see more Warrenton Branch Greenway-type sidewalks.
She promotes the wellbeing of Fauquier County’s most vulnerable citizens.
For 36 years, Jan Selbo has passionately helped people overcome adversity and move toward a brighter future.
As the director of Fauquier County Social Services for 35 years, Mrs. Selbo upholds the organization’s mission to assist families with self-sufficiency, protect adults and children from abuse and neglect, provide benefits and partner with other organizations that share similar missions.
During her career, Mrs. Selbo has helped found the Fauquier Community Child Care and Fauquier Family Shelter Services.
“We have such a small community that it can be relatively easy to get like-minded people to start a group and attack a problem they are concerned about,” she said. “It’s neat to see that happen.”
A Fauquier resident for 23 years, she enjoys hiking and on the boards of numerous public service non-profit groups.
For the future, she hopes Warrenton can grow into a community “where people can work, play and live in one place” with amenities such as the Warrenton Branch Greenway.
• Why do you do the job?
I’ve never been bored. I see an impact of my work. I have always been in social work since college. My interests were always in community organization work.
We have such a small community that it can be relatively easy to get like-minded people to start a group and attack a problem they are concerned about. It’s neat to see that happen. (Social Services) is very dependent on our non-profit community.
I’m proud of the quality of our staff. They are smart, dedicated, hardworking people with good morale.
Husband, Keith, and two adult daughters, Emilie and Charlotte.
Master’s degree in social work, University of Wisconsin, 1974; bachelor’s in social work, University of Wisconsin, 1972.
• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Since 1992 — 23 years. I worked here 12 years before we moved here.
• Why do you live here?
We moved here when my children were young, and thought it would be nice to live closer to work.
• How do you describe this county?
Physically beautiful. That’s important to us. We enjoy hiking!
It’s still small enough that a small group of people can get things done. We have met a lovely group of people here. And the food is good!
• What would you change about Fauquier?
My pet peeve is sidewalks. There are not enough and they are not wide enough. I’m pleased to see the Town of Warrenton seems to enforce the snow removal rule.
I would like to see the town much less dependent on cars. I would love to see more Warrenton Branch Greenway-type sidewalks, sidewalks where two people can walk by each other and where they are continuous and don’t stop on one side of the road and continue on the opposite side.
• What do you do for fun?
Hike, cook and eat!
• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
The Warrenton Branch Greenway. I walk on it every day! And the Fauquier County Public Library, the Warrenton branch.
• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I hope we can avoid the rough middle, where jurisdictions overbuild roads and get to the point where people can work, play and live in one place, so we won’t have huge road infrastructures and we can preserve natural beauty. We need to promote telecommuting and I hope we have a technology infrastructure to support that including fast Wi-Fi.
• Favorite TV show?
“Masterpiece Theatre” on PBS.
• Favorite movie?
• Favorite book?
“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens. I’ve read it four times.
Right now I’m reading a non-fiction book, “Scarcity” by Sendhil Mullainathan.
• Favorite vacation spot?
The beach in winter. In the past, we would go to the Outer Banks around Thanksgiving.
• Favorite food?
Liquorice. Especially the salty kind from Holland.
• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
Do the math. It gets you to a place where you can evaluate and be objective. Really look at the pros and cons. Your value system is part of that. My mother taught me these things, and it goes back to her being rational.
• Who’s your hero and why?
My mother, Ruth. She was the most honest and rational person I know, and I always admired that about her.
• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Put a package together to impact the community for the future.