Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

2024 Valedictorian plans to become an educator

By Shirley Shuman

Jeffrey Evans, first in Braxton County High’s 2024 graduating class plans to study secondary education at Marshall University. The son of Jeffrey and Marlene Evans will focus on chemistry, the subject he plans to teach.

The future teacher explained how he became interested in teaching. “When I was in elementary school,” he said, “I used to give other students answers. However, my teachers, who obviously didn’t approve, showed me how I could help them without giving out answers.”   Following that experience, he had Sandra Burchett as his fourth-grade teacher, and he helped her a great deal  “and loved it,” he said. Also, his experiences in Sharon Desper’s education class classes “allowed [him] to grow and become the person [he] is today.”

Along with the development of his interest in teaching, Evans’s choice of the most exciting thing that has happened to him is the first day that he was able to teach as part of Desper’s class. “I chose my elementary school, and I got to see my former teachers. The teacher with whom I was working gave me control of the class,” he said. “That made me realize what I would be doing the rest of my life and why I was doing it.”

Not surprisingly, Evan’s favorite teacher is Sharon Desper. He chose her, he explained, “because of the way she builds connection with students and she also taught me to look past myself and into other people’s lives.”

Evans’ favorite class during high school was Dr. Backus’s chemistry class. He chose that class “because it was a real science class, the first that was different from what I was exposed to in middle school,” he said. “It was something different about science that I learned.”

His activities at BCHS include being  president of the local chapter of the National Honor Society, membership in  Education Rising,  AmeriCorps Educational Alliance, and  HSTA along with volunteering in classrooms to help students. Outside of school, his activities are somewhat limited because he works. However, the does fish sometimes , and he now works in the after-school program at Flatwoods.

Evans likes “the community that exists in Braxton County High School.” He explained, “If you have a problem, there’s always someone to help.”  He added, “I like the culture.”

This  young man did not have to go far to find the  most interesting person he knows. “The most interesting person I have known is my dad. He has faced a lot of obstacles in life, but no matter what they were, he persevered and rose above them.” With his obvious enthusiasm and thoughtfulness, it would most likely follow that this soon-to-be graduate will be able to do the same about some of the different things that are included in that field.