DCHS announces upcoming retirement of three teachers
At the end of the 2016-17 school year, the Dyer County School System will bid farewell to three teachers whom collectively possess over 100 years of teaching experience, including Medical Education teacher Valerie Bevis, Business teacher Eva Kindle, and Family Sciences teacher Vernita Turner.
Paying recognition to time, service, and dedication of the three women, who have devoted nearly all of the years of their adult lives towards educating students of the county, fellow teachers and administration of DCHS hosted a large retirement reception for the three teachers at the school on Wednesday afternoon.
For roughly 44 years, local educator Vernita Turner has served her community and the student body of Dyer County High School through her involvement in an array of organizations including her role as DCHS FCCLA advisor and Work Based Learning Coordinator.
“My first teaching job was at Fifth Consolidated School,” said Vernita. “I taught first grade for one year before I was transferred to Dyer County High School to teach Home Economics Education.
“Teaching young people is the joy of my life. I have been a teacher for 44 years and it doesn’t seem like it has been that long. Love what you do, and time just flies right by. I love children and I love to see the students’ faces light up when they have successfully completed a project.”
A Work-Based Learning Coordinator, Vernita spends a great deal of her time at DCHS integrating students into real-world businesses through internships and service-learning programs. Through this program, students are able to catch a glimpse of the ‘real world’ and be provided with an opportunity to explore future career options before graduation.
“Some of our students do their internships in businesses in Dyer County. The internships are unpaid jobs in businesses including: lawyer’s offices, animal shelters, pharmacies, industries, Dyer County School Systems, and more. This gives our students a ‘hands-on’ experience to help them choose a career for the future. Some of our students go to jobs where they get paid. The jobs are basically at fast-food restaurants.”
An integral part of the classroom, FCCLA is currently the only youth organization run by students. With a primary focus on family, the organization encourages students to participate and coordinate events that benefit the needs of the community such as ‘Pack the Pantry’ food drive for Matthew 25:40, Adopt-an-Angel for Newbern Housing Authority, Sorghum Valley Christmas Village Schoolhouse, Helping Hands, Northwest Safeline, the Dyer County Humane Society, and participation in the annual FFCLA State Convention, held in Chattanooga.
Business instructor Eva Kindle has been a teacher at DCHS for 37 years of her career, in addition to the 10 years she spent teaching at public schools within her native city of St. Louis.
“I am really excited,” smiled Kindle. “I have been waiting an entire year for this. I actually planned to retire last year, but decided to stay on an additional year. Once I met my students, I felt that it was important to see those students through the entire school year.
“I also wanted to stay on an additional year to support DCHS’ new principal Ms. Laura Brimm, as well as Dr. Lusk, who, this time last year, was just starting his new role as superintendent. It was going to be difficult leaving my comrades here in zone three also. We have worked together for so long, and are quite the dedicated group.”
Kindle says her desire to begin a career as an educational instructor began from an early age.
“My father always wanted me to become a teacher, but I had no real intentions to become a teacher at that point; however, I recalled being quite impressed with my teachers during my younger years in school. Teachers were magical and special. So, I guess, in my heart, I wanted to be like a teacher, without actually wanting to become one, at least not at that point. Back then, I was hoping to join the military.“
Kindle says she was later led to substitute teach after graduating from college as a means of earning income while trying to enter the military.
“I was filling in for a women who was on maternity leave, but I let them know I would be going to the military as soon as I was able to fulfill the requirements. Well, the teacher I was subbing for ultimately decided not to come back. She wanted to stay home and raise her child, so I ended up staying on much longer. It was then that I realized teaching was my true calling. I loved it.”
Kindle said it was during a family event held in Memphis, Tenn. when the course of her life changed, as she was introduced to her future husband.
“I met my husband and after we married I relocated to Dyer County, and applied for a position with Dyer County and Dyersburg School Systems,” said Kindle, explaining her arrival at DCHS.
“I was interviewed and hired by Dyersburg City Schools, but I was going to be teaching math and that wasn’t in my field. Of course, I had to agree to go back to school and take some more math courses, but then Dyer County asked me to come and teach. Just like in St. Louis, a teacher had adopted a child and decided to stay home with her child, resulting in a full-time opening for me. It was the same scenario.”
While Kindle says her time at DCHS has been very rewarding, she looks forward to spending more time traveling to see family, and volunteering with her local church family.
An educator at DCHS for the past 11 years, Medical Education teacher Valerie Bevis, says her time at the school has been no less than rewarding, and will greatly miss the friendship she has developed with colleagues and administration as well as her interaction with students.
Prior to arriving at DCHS, Bevis spent roughly 18 years at TCAT-Newbern, where she worked as the Nursing Program Instructor.
Bevis is a graduate of the Baptist Memorial Hospital School of Nursing-Memphis.
“I am going to miss my kids [students]. I’ll really miss HOSA competitions, leadership camps, and trips to Nashville,” smiled Bevis.
Bevis says she started at TCAT-Newbern in 1988, following numerous years where she worked for Baptist Memorial, but essentially made a home for herself at DCHS, where she felt she could cultivate the most positive change.
“I really wanted to implement new things into the curriculum,” said Bevis. “There were a lot of students joining nursing classes, and I wanted them to continue that course and provide them with as much support as possible. I also wanted to instill in them the need for a strong work ethic.”
Bevis says her passion for nursing emerged at a young age, as she always found herself wanting to take care of others.
Bevis says she plans to spend her retirement getting plenty of rest and relaxation.