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August 10, 2015

Faces of Fauquier: Career built on helping others

Photo/Cassandra Brown
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.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
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.

• Age
66

• Home
Warrenton

• Work
Director of Fauquier County Department of Social Services.

Has worked 36 years for the department. She works with non-profit organizations such as the Fauquier Community Food Bank and Fauquier Community Action Committee Head Start to support citizens in need.

During her career, she helped found the Fauquier Community Child Care and Fauquier Family Shelter Services.

• 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.

• Family
Husband, Keith, and two adult daughters, Emilie and Charlotte.

• Education
Master’s degree in social work, University of Wisconsin, 1974; bachelor’s in social work, University of Wisconsin, 1972.

• Civic involvement
Board member of Aging Together, a regional effort to help an older population with support and services. Board member of the Fauquier Education Farm. Executive committee board member of People Incorporated, Fauquier County branch. Serves with the Foothills Housing Network, a regional coalition to prevent and end homelessness.

• 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?
“Oklahoma”

• 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.

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• Jim Cirillo’s call to Casanova extended.


• Don’t tell Angela Deal, Ms. Wheelchair Fauquier, that she can’t do something.

• FHS graduate and business owner Cathy Dodson finds all she needs right here.

• Mike Harvey’s sweet work takes lots of sweat.

• Warrenton native Joan Williams still serving her community.

• Classic cars consume engineer Matt Innocenzi’s free time.

• Wood transformed in the hands of Edward Fox.

• Earl Arrington serves printing customers and his community.

• Michael Hughes wears music, threater and equestrian hats.

• Store in Goldvein part of Susan Leopold’s family legacy.

• County native Maggi MacQuilliam devoted to the great outdoors.

• Health care for the needy Rob Marino’s mission.

• Daphne Latimore focuses on human capital.

• Horses extend Louise Summers’ work as teacher.

• As volunteer coach, Jeff Budd develops young wrestlers.


• Fraces Allshouse’s jobs focus on preservation.

• Jessica Smolinski’s book introduces children to Old Town Warrenton.

• Margaret Rice’s job all about fitness and fun in Warrenton.


• Robert Sturgeon has built his 70-employee businesses in Bealeton from scratch.

• 4-H leader Zach Woodward relishes the lessons of farming.

• Hospital auxiliary volunteer Alison Lee also earned fame in drag racing circles.

• Highland School veteran staff member Lise Hicklin always wanted to teach.


• As 9-1-1 dispatcher, Kateland Rich works to maintain calm during crisis.

• Chaplain Liz Danielsen finds a giving community.


• 9-1-1 response in Rodney Woodward’s bloodline.

• Fast talk a tool of the trade for auctioneer Kathy Shumate.

• Sam Poles takes care of varmits.

• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.


• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.


• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.


• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.


• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.


• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.


• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”


• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.


• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.


• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.


• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.


• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.


• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.


• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people


• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.


• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.


• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.


• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.


• Pastor a constant in Calverton.


• She keeps the courthouse spotless.


• He loves working working outdoors at the park.


• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton


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