Donna Lake


Donna Lake has been a resident of Jackson, Michigan most of her life. She moved from her home state of Colorado at the age of 5; however, she feels that Jackson is her real hometown. She and her husband, Jon, have been married for over 40 years. Their daughter, Erica Bills and granddaughter Chloe Bills live in Haslett, MI. Their daughter Michelle and her husband Jordan Smithers, live in Sylvania OH.

Trustee Lake is a retired Jackson Public Schools elementary teacher. She received her Associate’s Degree from Jackson College, a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University, and a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College in Detroit. She taught hearing impaired children for 12 years, grades K-6, then finished her career by teaching fourth-grade students for 20 years.

Trustee Lake has been a member of the Jackson County Medical Society Alliance for 16 years, and served as president from 2010-2013. She is currently serving as President of the Michigan State Medical Society Alliance (MSMSA).

She has been on the Jackson Symphony Guild board since 2009 and held the office of Guild President from 2011-2013. Trustee Lake is an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, is a volunteer at The Dahlem Center and with the Jackson County Master Gardening Association. She loves golfing, gardening, quilting, painting, bicycle riding and spending time with her family and friends.

Why did you decide to become a Jackson College Board of Trustee?

I was actually appointed to the board when Trustee Medlar needed to leave before her term was completed. When she called to ask me to consider the position, I was thrilled and honored. After serving our community as an elementary teacher for 32 years, I was excited to be given the opportunity to gain insight into higher education. After completing Trustee Medlar’s term, I knew that I wanted to run for the position to continue my role as a Jackson College Board of Trustee, so that I could be part of all the incredible work that takes place at Jackson College.

What do you enjoy most about serving as a Jackson College Board of Trustee?

I am impressed constantly about all that is going on at Jackson College. We are benchmarked by colleges all over the United States for many of our programs that revolve around our Total Commitment to Student Success and our Student Pathways Program. I am so proud of the work that goes on at JC 24/7.

From your perspective, in what ways do you see Jackson College serving the community?

First of all, we provide a low cost premium education to any member of our community that would like to step into the collegiate arena right in their own backyard. The educational programs that are offered at Jackson College are top notch, which allow students the opportunity to obtain a certificate,  a degree, or the credits required to transfer onto a four year institution for further education, all while saving them a great deal of money for the education.

Secondly, we have a huge economic impact our community by giving our county residents employment opportunities.

How has your experience with Jackson College impacted your life?

Being a JC Trustee has allowed me to take a deeper dive into all that required of a college in order to keep them in good standings with the state and national educational accreditors. I have a whole new appreciation for all of the behind the scenes collaboration our Leadership Team works on constantly to keep our college up to date and ready to offer the very best education available anywhere to our students.

What is one message you would offer to Jackson College students and/or the community?

You need not look any further than your own backyard to receive a quality college education. Jackson College is a jewel in Jackson’s crown, and we should all be very proud that we have this Community College right here in our own neighborhood.