Native New Yorker at home in Carson City

Janice Towns' life changed completely when she accepted the job as the management information specialist for the Carson City School District.

In a matter of three weeks, she packed up all of her belongings, married her boyfriend of two years and moved from Buffalo, N.Y., to Carson City.

"I'm glad I made my decision," she said, sitting at her desk three years later. "I've become really comfortable with the laid-backness of Carson City."

A typical day for Towns includes making sure that all of the schools throughout the district are able to access the Internet and that all the servers are operating correctly.

She had been considering a move west when she saw an advertisement for the job in The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

She sent in her resume but forgot about it until she got a call on a Friday afternoon asking her to come to a job interview the following Monday.

She priced tickets and found it would cost $1,200 to fly to Carson. Then her travel agent found a special and her parents agreed to drive her to Detroit and she got a $200 round trip.

The good luck continued. After the interview by a panel of Carson City district officials, which she described as similar to "The Inquisition," she was offered the job.

Her boyfriend, William - also a New York native, who now works as a machinist at Chromalloy - had also been wanting to move west, but the two had decided not to live together outside of marriage. So they planned a hasty wedding and moved together.

Towns was born and raised in Buffalo, attended college in Michigan and moved back. Leaving wasn't easy.

"It is a shock because you're leaving everything you know and everything you're used to," she said. "The only thing that made it easier was I had my husband with me."

In the three years she's been here, Towns has grown accustomed to the western way of life. When she returned to Buffalo for the summer, she realized how much she'd changed.

"I remember being at a 7-Eleven store and there were cars all around me and I got paranoid," she said. "Here, I don't have that fear or that nervousness.

"I had taken for granted the openness and friendliness of Carson until I went back and saw it wasn't like that."

So the two New Yorkers have decided to stay in Carson City to raise Jasmine, their 18-month-old daughter - a native Nevadan.

"I don't think she's going to go through the same type of peer pressure that we did," Towns said. "Hopefully, she won't have to get streetwise as fast either."

Towns said she was raised with a natural suspicion of people but realized, after moving to Carson City, that people were generally good.

She wants Jasmine to see that.

"I think she'll be able to be a lot more trusting," she said.


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