July 23, 2014

Evans settles into principal role at CVU

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By Rachel Gill

Observer correspondent

July 11, 2013

Jeff Evans, new CVU principal. (Observer file photo)

Jeff Evans, new CVU principal. (Observer file photo)

In Jeffrey Evans’ 22 years at Champlain Valley Union High School, he has been a teacher, Nichols House director and coach of everything from soccer to golf. Now, Evans will be taking on yet another role—as the school’s interim principal for the 2013-2014 school year. It’s a role he is pleased to pursue.

“I have always really enjoyed working with students. Whether coaching or teaching, you are still working with learners,” Evans said. “Watching kids grow as students and athletes has been great and I am really lucky to have been a part of that.”

Evans officially started as interim principal July 1, after the CVU Board voted unanimously for his selection on June 17. He replaced former Principal Sean McMannon, who is now the Winooski School District superintendent.

To handle the responsibilities of his new position, Evans plans to take a year of absence as Nichols House director and as varsity boys golf coach.

“Connie Metz will fill my spot for a year as house director,” Evans said. “I actually replaced her two years ago in that same position.”

As for Evans’ replacement as golf coach, there is no official plan in place.

“I co-coach with Seth Emerson, so that’s a possibility, but it hasn’t been decided if he will pick up the position full time,” he said.

Evans said he is looking forward to his new role.

“One main focus this year will be standards-based learning as part of the Evolve Initiative,” Evans said.

Spearheaded by McMannon and CVU faculty, “Evolve” was implemented five years ago. The three-part program includes a shift to standard-based learning, electronic portfolios and alternative learning pathways for students to earn school credit. Evans said the program identifies learning targets and helps teachers communicate those targets to the students and their families to support improvement.

As for Evans’ plans to apply for the permanent principal position, he said that decision has yet to be made.

“Right now, I am focused on doing what the school needs me to do, which is to provide a bridge for this position until they can find what they are looking for,” Evans said. “I will have a better idea of my decision once I feel more informed.”

Evans hopes to do the best job he can.

“I hope to do the job in a very professional manner,” Evans said. “I have a lot of respect for CVU’s highly involved staff.”

Samantha Gilliam, a CVU junior who has had Evans as an advisor for two years, said Evans is a perfect fit.

“He definitely has the leadership skills needed to be the principal,” Gilliam said. “It’s better than having someone come in from somewhere else, because he is familiar with how CVU is run.”

Gilliam said despite Evans’ many roles at CVU, he always made time to support his advisees.

“He is great at making sure we all have one-on-one time and he is always very good to us despite how big his jobs at CVU are,” Gilliam said.

Before pursing a career in education, Evan’s worked as a professional umpire for 10 years. His interest in sports came from a long line of sports enthusiasts. His father owned a sporting goods store and his grandfather coached basketball at the University of Vermont.

“My love of sports was passed down to me,” Evans said.

During his umpiring off-seasons, Evans worked as a substitute teacher and coach, which propelled him to earn a teaching degree from Norwich University.

Evans started at CVU coaching varsity boys basketball in 1991, which he continued for 16 years.

In 1993, he began teaching English at the school. Since then, he has coached varsity girls basketball, junior varsity boys soccer and varsity golf, the last of which he has done since 1995.

Evans said he is really looking forward to growing his valued relationships with everyone at CVU through his new role.

“I am most looking forward to building relationships with highly talented faculty, staff and administration,” Evans said. “Those relationships and the support from the community have made CVU the place it is.”

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