top of page
In The Limelight

Camilla Owen

Story by Teresa Nguyen

March, 2021

"Those students who have come back have made an incredible impact...they are exceptional teachers. It’s great to see how it comes full circle!" ~ Camilla Owen, on the Janesville Multicultural Teacher Scholarship recipients

Camilla’s Awards

State Tennis Coach of the Year 1993 and 1996
Middle School Teacher of the Year 1997
UW-Whitewater Hall of Fame 1999
Janesville Sports Hall of Fame 2002
PTA Teacher of the Year 2005
One of the Janesville Gazette’s “50 Who Matter” 2007
YWCA Woman of Distinction 2016

Wisconsin High School Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame 2020

Holding Ball & Racket
There are those who strive to lead and those who are simply born leaders. Camilla Owen was destined to be great. In spite of her admirable humility, that big smile and those warm eyes, Camilla has accomplished so much and given tirelessly to our community. Amazing women like Camilla are a rarity, even though Janesville, Wisconsin has had some fine examples of great women who have made a difference in numerous ways!
"I raise up my voice - not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard...
we cannot succeed when half of us are held back."  ~ Malala Yousafzai
Doty Manufacturing.jpg
Camilla is a champion for girls and women in sports, she's been a voice for students with disabilities and has advocated for diversity in education. She is a voice for those who need a leader to speak out and stand for their rights, to help even the playing field...or the tennis courts. Her community involvement has been inspiring and she rarely slows down.
A Five Generations Business
Camilla Owen is a descendant of some wonderful, established Janesville families. Her great-grandfather John H. Owen and Mr. Chambers founded the Chambers and Owen business, a wholesale distributer, in 1891. His son, Alexander Paul Owen Sr. and Camilla's father, Alexander Paul Owen Jr. continued working in the family business, as did his brother, John E. Owen.
Doty Manufacturing of Janesville
Camilla's brother Alexander Paul Owen III and their cousin, John K. Owen ran the business and now their sons are the fifth generation! It is now the 12th largest convenience store distributor in the United States.
Camilla is also from the Doty family, and shared the cool story about the Doty Manufacturing business with us in back in 2019:

The Early Years

Camilla's parents, Alexander Paul Owen Jr. and her mother, Camilla, met at the University of Alabama, but then returned to Janesville to work in the family business.


As a child, Camilla remembered helping with chores and with the business, but also recalled having fun at Lion’s beach and trips to Woolworth’s downtown for a soda and fries. Her family and mother embraced sports, so around 8 years old, Camilla took tennis lessons through Leisure Services and fell in love with the game. Later, she attended tennis camps and took lessons with Stan DuFrane. 

At Craig High School, Camilla continued her involvement in sports, was a member of the National Honor Society, Quill and Scroll and wrote for The Phoenix featuring female sports stories. She and her teammates told the coach that they wanted cool tennis outfits…so they made their own! By age 18, Camilla was teaching tennis for the Leisure Services, and ran the Janesville Junior Open tournament.

Education and Career
She attended the University of Alabama, making the tennis team and later played for the UW-Whitewater tennis team. Camilla earned a degree in Broad Field Social Studies Teaching and then earned a degree in Special Education.

Camilla Owen taught in the Special Education department at Parker High School and at Franklin Middle School was in charge of a new program to work with students at-risk called BOOST- Bringing Out Our Students' Talents. After 30 years of teaching, Camilla retired, but continued working for the School District of Janesville in other areas.

A Passion for Tennis

Camilla’s passion for tennis continued and, around 13 years ago, she founded Quick Start Tennis, now called Midwest Team Tennis, introducing the game to students ages 4 - 14. It began with 30 students, and grew to over 100!
Camilla has also run the WIAA State Tournament for over 20 years, as well as the WIAC College and the Midwest Conference.

Community Involvement
High School.jpg
Camilla on the Craig Girls Tennis Team
Camilla's involvement in our community is incredible. Camilla was co-organizer of the Janesville Community Alliance Network, served on the boards of the YWCA and the Boys and Girls Club and was a United Way representative for Franklin Middle School. ​
JMTS board and friends.jpg
She serves as co-chair for the Janesville Education Foundation, is a board member for the Women's Fund, serves on the Janesville Multicultural Teacher Scholarship board and on The Janesville Sports Hall of Fame. Camilla also headed the Excellence in Education Foundation and for two years helped judge the annual Lip Sync Battle for Project 16:49.
Camilla continues working to help create diversity in our public school teaching staff through the Janesville Multicultural Teacher Scholarships and spoke about the recipients,
"Those students who have come back have made an incredible impact. They are exceptional teachers. It’s great to see how it comes full circle!" 
At a Janesville Multicultural Teacher Scholarship Event
Camilla Today
Camilla lost her mother, Camilla "Mickey" Owen in 2017 and then focused on caring for her aging father. The pandemic has really given Camilla quality time with her dad. He lives across the street from her and visits every day. Alexander Paul Owen Jr. turned 90 in October.
Camilla is currently supervising student teachers for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. It is now her 3rd semester of supervising, which she finds very rewarding. 
A passion to serve the community of Janesville is rooted in Camilla's family and her character. She reflects on Janesville, “It’s home to me. I know a lot of people…I’ve been fortunate.”
InkedHigh School Coach_LI.jpg
Coach Owen (middle) with her Craig Girls Tennis Team
Camilla Owen with her 2016 Woman of Distinction Award
bottom of page