Evans created enduring Mac impact by putting students first

Veteran teacher retires, heads to North Carolina to be near family, beach


Dave Winter

Beverly Evans stands with longtime departmental colleagues Helaine Brockington and Paula Hockaday at her retirement luncheon in Margaret Smith’s classroom on Dec. 15.

In her 22-plus years at McCallum, Beverly Evans worked almost every job that exists within the special education department. On the occasion of her retirement at the end of fall semester, her departmental colleagues were quick to remember all that she has meant to them and to the school community as a whole.

“She has been my right-hand woman over the last 16 years,” special education department chair Julie Rigby said. “I do not know what I will do without her. She never hesitated to jump in and help. Her first question was always, ‘How can I help?’”

Her campus roommate SCORES teacher Christopher Purkiss agreed.

“I have shared a portable with Ms. Evans for seven and a half years,” Purkiss said. “I appreciate the concern and compassion that she shows to all the McCallum students. She is always kind and thoughtful, and she is always willing to help out wherever she is needed.”

Rigby said that one of Evans’ greatest contributions to the campus was the work program she helped create.

I’m so excited for [Beverly Evans’] next chapter and forever grateful for her impact at McCallum High School.

— special education department chair Julie Rigby

“Beverly Evans has made such an impact on our students. In the early days, she led classroom projects with Mr. Keike–teaching woodworking skills by making birdhouses, holiday trees and by cooking gifts for the campus staff. She also made sure students had the opportunity to work and get credit for school as a [Vocational Adjustment Class] teacher and ran the summer work program to ensure our students had the opportunity to have summer jobs to build the foundation for their future employment.”

Evans told The Shield that she began her teaching career as a part-time teaching assistant at Becker Elementary School in 1995. She transitioned to a full-time role as a life skills teacher the following and then was hired by Mac principal Shelly Pittman in 1998.

Mike Garrison was Evans’ principal for 16 years starting when he took the top job at Mac in 2003. He called Evans “one of the best” in a comment made on the MacJournalism Instagram account on Dec. 16, breaking the news of Evans’ retirement.

On the same day as the luncheon to celebrate her retirement, Beverly Evans (right) took the Maculty holiday spirit week prize for Best Holiday Headgear. Her colleague Sherryl Bailey (left) was a close second. (Dave Winter)

At lunch on that day, Evans’ colleagues gathered in Margaret Smith’s classroom to celebrate her long career and her future adventures that will begin in earnest with the new year.

“I am sorry to see her go,” Purkiss said, “but I look forward to keeping up with her as she heads off on a new adventure.”

Evans said in an email to the faculty that she will be moving back to North Carolina to be with her family.

[Beverly Evans] is always kind and thoughtful, and she is always willing to help out wherever she is needed.

— SCORES teacher Christopher Purkiss

“I have purchased a home four miles from Topsail Island,” she wrote.

Like Purkiss, Rigby said she was happy for the future that lies ahead for Evans.

“Sand, sun and beach have always been her love and now she will be able to access that every day,” Rigby said. “I’m so excited for her next chapter and forever grateful for her impact at McCallum High School.”

Evans likewise wrote to her peers that she will always appreciate her time on the Maculty.

“I will treasure the friendships I formed with many of you,” she wrote. “Thanks for all you do for the students. Keep fighting the good fight!”

Rigby said that Evans’ example will help her faculty peers do just that when the spring semester kicks off on Wednesday.

“I hope we will remember the spirit of Beverly’s wisdom: ALWAYS put the student’s first. Always.”