Saturday, October 8, 2011

Teacher June Pearl (1937-82)

Teacher June Pearl (1937-82)  As a young girl June Pearl Evans helped maintain their one room school (Horseshoe) in Lee Township.  Homer Evans, her father, was the school director who hired and supervised the teacher.  After graduating from Bloomingdale High School in 1935 she attended Allegan County Normal for one year to become a teacher.  Those were the days of no federal and very little state control of education.  In 1937 she took her first full-time day job at the Crow School and was paid $65 per month.   Her 15 years of teaching in one room schools stretched from 1937 to to 1957 with 5 years off (1940-45) to potty train the two boys (Martin and Charles).  Crow, Brown, Iddles, and McDowell were her one room schools.  Classes were K through 6, 7 or 8 with school sizes ranged from 25 to 54 students.  She kept the fire burning and supervised hot lunches and recess.  She organized holiday celebrations with Christmas being the most elaborate.

Mother continued to work toward her degree by taking summer classes offered by Northwestern, Western Michigan and Michigan State.  The year I graduated from High School (1958), she received her BS degree from Western Michigan University.  To finish her degree she was required to do student teaching at Paw Paw after having taught for 15 years.  One of her student teacher jobs was to teach the class how to swim.   That same year (1958) she started teaching at Lincoln Elementary in South Haven and taught 3rd or 4th grades for 25 years.  June Pearl Evans Overhiser (6-13-1917/3-3-1997) retired in 1982 at age 65 after teaching for 40 years.  She said this at her retirement: "I love working with children, it is very rewarding to have the opportunity to help shape an individual."

Mom always had her emotions under control and never raised her voice or ever said a harsh word to anyone's face.  Maybe behind their back on occasion.  June made a lasting impact on her students, her family, her friends and her community.  She was a compassionate and caring teacher who was admired by her students and parents.  At the McDowell Christmas Program in 1954 she was given new luggage.  The parents knew that June, Albert, Martin and Chuck were spending Christmas vacation with Homer and Pearl Evans in Kissimmee Florida. 

Here is what one of her students wrote on 6-6-1973: "I think you have been a nice and wonderful teacher.  I think you showed a lot of consideration to the whole class.  You may be 56 but you are still a wonderful and pleasant teacher.  Your age doesn't mean anything to me.  I hope Mrs Swanson is as good as you.  You have been the best!  Your friend, Sandy Mear

At The Farm October 2011
Apples, cider, pumpkins, squash and lots of other fall items are at the farm daily through the end of October.  During November the retail building will be open on weekends until Thanksgiving (Nov 5/6, 12/13 &19/20).
Fall and winter farm work will continue --- repair and clean equipment and fruit containers, work on existing and new structures, trim trees, remove old orchards, and plan new orchards for spring planting.  Supervisor, Allan, has the Casco Township business to keep him occupied and Kim has the farm records and taxes to work on.  The five farm teenagers will keep very busy with their classes and activities.  "Oh how nice it is to be retired", this author said.