Oak Bay will be down a teacher who impacted the basketball court and classroom at Monterey middle school for more than 25 years this fall.
Karen Evans came to the school in 1987 – after a decade of teaching in Terrace – to fill the role of art teacher and coach.
“I think the coaching is a highlight. … Many students in the Oak Bay community will remember her,” said co-worker Jeri Holm.
“She excelled at being the most amazing coach. She has the ability to be firm with kids, be tough with them but totally fair. And the children respond to that by loving her and wanting to do their best for her.”
Evans retired this week after a quarter century of teaching primarily Grade 6 and 7 at the middle school that was an elementary school up until five years ago.
“We’ve had amazing basketball teams go through here, and great parents who would coach evening programs here,” Evans said.
“After a few years you get to know the families. … You just feel like it’s a second home. I’ve just coached and taught and loved every moment of it.”
Evans was inducted in the Oak Bay High sports hall of fame as a sport builder last year – recognizing her work with Monterey students in volleyball, track and basketball.
“You’re not only working with kid in the classroom, which is fabulous, but you get to work with them on a whole other level,” she said.
“I‘ve enjoyed it so much. It’s been a pleasure to work with so many wonderful kids and families. I think I’m very fortunate.”
Evans’ years have been filled with children, and younger siblings, along with ever-present and helpful parents.
“She’s been able to take difficult kids into her classroom and work her magic,” Holm said. “She’s made huge friends in the parent groups she’s worked with. They have a really high regard for her.”
As of yesterday (June 28), the last day of school, she made way for new, young teachers.
“I’m just off for a new adventure,” Evans said. “I don’t know where I’ll end up, or what I’ll be doing.”