Parting is such sweet sorrow

Flores smiles as she grades a test for her Pre-AP Pre-Calculus class

She was supposed to retire nine years ago, but the bond she had with teaching overpowered the desire to leave. Now she feels it’s the right time to do what she tried to do before.

After 39 full years teaching everything from Pre-Calculus to Algebra II, math teacher Evelyn Flores is now retiring.

“I’ve already retired on paper; I retired in 2003,” said Flores, “but I came back to teach at Kerr and this is about the time [for retiring].”

Flores has been teaching math at Kerr for 12 years now, and in that period of time has became very tight-knit with the staff and students. In fact, Flores loves teaching so much that even after retiring, she will not stop doing what she does best.

“I’m still going to still tutor and teach various places,” said Flores, “but it won’t be full-time.”

One of the first experiences Flores had at Kerr was interacting with the students and teachers about topics other than academics.

“[I love] working with the other teachers in an office setting…because in a traditional school, you go to faculty meetings, but you never get to know your co-workers,” she said, “[but at Kerr] you get to talk with the teachers and the students, and not just about math.”

A really significant lesson Flores learned from Kerr is giving students their independence and letting them follow their own specific ways of learning.

“[I’ve learned] to step back and let the students make mistakes and ask questions after they’ve done some of their own delving.”

The thought of leaving Kerr made Flores very emotional, and it would be very cumbersome for her to leave the strong bond she has built up with her co-workers and students behind.

“I’m going to miss doing what I’ve always done—finding about students; what they’re doing and how they’re doing,” said Flores, tearing up. “I’m going to miss getting up and making a difference.”

According to the Math Department, Flores will be missed.

“I’m going to be so sad—she’s like my right arm!”  math TAKS tutor Connie Pavlicek said. “She’s very generous—always buying things for everybody…it’s going to be very hard without her [because] she’s so organized.”

Flores’s position, unfortunately for the Math Department, will not be filled because of budget cuts.

“We will have one less math teacher,” said math teacher Sheri Koshkin, “and we won’t have her to rely on to make sure everything is set up.”

The teachers aren’t the only ones who are saddened by Flores’s departure. Sophomore Shimei Nelapati feels that some of Flores’s teaching techniques had a positive impact on her learning.

“As an advisor, she was really strict, so she pretty much got me into the ‘Kerr’ atmosphere,” she said. “She was tough on us but I guess that helped us in the long run.”

Flores would like to integrate a lot of Kerr’s characteristics in her tutoring in the future.

“I will start incorporating how we do things here,” said Flores. “We’re a great school…you really admire everything from Day 1. I was surprised that everyone would just get to work and do it by themselves. The Kerr way is fantastic.”

Flores is proud of the years she spent teaching at Kerr, and if she had to relive them again, they would be here.

“If I had to do it again—all 39 years of teaching—I would like to do it here at Kerr,” she said, “to teach and hope someday all schools would be just like Kerr.”