Teachers are Heroes: Zackery Evans is all about working as a team at HES
Published on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022
When Zackery Evans talks about his school, it is evident that he is big on forming relationships – not just with his students, but with the teachers he works with.
While he has only been at Hanahan Elementary for two years, he did his student teaching and served practicum hours at the school, and also used to be a substitute teacher. In fact, he is familiar with a lot of the school’s fifth-graders because he subbed for them three years ago when they were second-graders.
Evans will specifically name the teachers who have made a big impact on him in the time he has worked at the school. He student taught third-grade under the guidance of Lynn Moore, who is still at the school and is right across the hall from him.
Evans learned from Moore earlier on: If you just make the relationships with the students, the content will come.
“I’m just big on relationships,” he said, adding, “I guess it’s what I’m known for – being very friendly.”
Evans has taught third grade since coming to the school full-time. He is also a varsity football coach at Hanahan High. He was named Hanahan Elementary’s Rookie Teacher of the Year last year.
When he was in elementary school himself, Evans said he had a third-grade teacher who inspired him to become the first college graduate in his family. He still talks to that teacher to this day.
A combination of learning from that teacher, and wanting to be a good male role model in children’s lives, led to his decision to become a teacher. Evans went on to study elementary education at Charleston Southern University, where he also played football, serving two years as Team Captain.
Evans sees himself either becoming a principal one day, or a head football coach. He has a Master’s Degree in management and will attain an Educational Specialist degree in the fall. He also plans on getting a doctorate in educational leadership.
“I just want to knock it all out of the park,” he said.
Evans enjoys seeing his students grow and achieve those “lightbulb” moments that many teachers can attest to.
“I think you can say teachers live for lightbulb moments,” he said.
He also enjoys seeing this with the school’s English learners; around 25 percent of Hanahan Elementary’s population is Hispanic, and Evans said he loves seeing the school’s English learners become more confident in themselves and thrive at school.
Evans has around a dozen students who are learning English as a second language, and he co-teaches reading with ESOL teacher Iliana Espinoza.
“It’s been phenomenal,” Evans said, adding, “Ms. Espinoza is awesome.”
His favorite thing about Hanahan Elementary is the team aspect; as a second-year teacher, Evans still considers himself a rookie and knows there is a community of teachers who are always willing to help him out – particularly the ones who have 30-plus years of experience teaching.
“They’ve seen everything, they’ve heard everything, so they help guide me a lot,” he said. “If I have a question, they have an answer right away, and it’s frowned upon for asking a question.”
Evans is getting married in about a week to Grace Clark, a third-grade teacher at Daniel Island School.
His fellow teachers recently threw a wedding shower for Evans to celebrate the big day.
“It’s like a big family here,” he said.
Evans also credited the family feel to the school’s administration.
“(Principal Stephanie) Mitchell, she’s phenomenal to work for,” Evans said. “She has the same attitude that I do – just get the job done, no matter what. I like that mindset a lot.”
Outside of teaching, Evans loves to watch sports – his favorite teams are the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and the New Orleans Saints. He enjoys cooking and grilling and considers himself a grill master (“I can throw down on some ribs,” he said).
Evans and Clark plan on making their home in Hanahan.