In sports terms, you could say Evans High School is headed for a rebuilding year.
Evans High had six key players - teachers and administrators - retire this year. Together, they have more than 192 years of experience.
"It's going to be hard to recover," said Principal Don Brigdon. "I don't guess you ever really recover, you just reload," .
Assistant Principal Mikkie Hooker has more than 32 years of experience and moved from the old Evans High School to the new one when it opened in 1980. Assistant principal Gene Strong has more than 30 years, most in administration. Retiring math teacher Barbara Baggott has 33 years in the classroom, while retiring math teacher Sandra Maynard has 37 1/2 years at the chalkboard.
Brigdon said he had to hire two teachers to do the work that Ron Easler did. An industrial arts instructor, Easler, who has 25 years of experience, taught technology, drafting and construction. Although industrial arts teachers were once required to learn all three skills, they now just specialize in one, requiring Brigdon to hire one teacher to teach technology and another to teach construction.
Band director Richard Brasco also passed the baton this year to his assistant Reid Hall after 35 years at the helm. Brasco spent 20 of those at Evans building a program that now has international acclaim.
"When you have somebody who's been here 20 years, certain things are set in stone - everybody's used to it," Brigdon said.
These retirements came as no surprise. Brigdon said he has been interviewing candidates since January, and in addition to the six openings, has hired 16 professionals, altogether. But the flood of experienced teachers and administrators leaving the school is not expected to end soon.
"You don't want them to go, but they've paid their dues," Brigdon said. "In high school, you not only teach an eight hour day, you give so much more. I'm sure it's not only a blow to us, but a blow to them."
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