TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — We’ve been recognizing remarkable women in our community for weeks now. In December we asked you to nominate an incredible woman in your life and we got dozens of nominations.

From those, a selection committee chose four finalists for us to share their stories.

Our four local finalists were:

KSNT’s local winner is Janice Kneisley. She is packing her bags for New York City for a chance to be named the national Nexstar’s woman of the year. 

We were there for a special celebration of achieving this honor. A morning full of cheers, hugs, a whole lot of congratulations, a few kiddos, and even some tears.

“I am just so proud of Janice because she is just an awesome woman and deserves this award.”

Staci Campbell, Janice’s mentor

“It’s a testament to how she cares about other people,” Hiawatha Elementary school’s physiologist Lisa Pierce said.

Two weeks ago we shared Janice’s story about how she shines a light to her students, to her family, to her own school work trying to get her masters degree, all while battling cancer for the second time.

After that story aired, there was one thing Janice said that grabbed everyone’s attention.

“Do you know there’s so many people that have it worse than what I could have it? I don’t think of myself as a remarkable woman because I just got cancer, everyone else is remarkable.”

Janice Kneisley, Feb. 25, 2020 interview

 When she said that, it made us all think twice about our everyday grievances.    

“I couldn’t even tell you that she has cancer because of the way that she lives her life and you know that’s remarkable,” said Becky Shamburg, director of special education in Hiawatha.

“She always thinks of everyone else before herself,” Campbell said.

“She’s the strongest lady that I’ve ever seen, just amazing,” Pierce added.

So how did this humble woman react when she got the news of being selected?

“I didn’t believe it at first,” Janice said laughing.

To wrap it all up, we wanted to know what everyone else was thinking. How does Janice get through it all with a smile on her face?

“I have always lived by this, if you look out you are miserable, if you look down you don’t know whats going on, but if you look up then you are happy.”

And there you have it. What gets her through each day.

Janice and her husband are heading to New York City for a chance to be named Nexstar’s National Woman of the year.

Thank you Northeast Kansas for nominating these remarkable ladies, congratulations to all our nominees.