Teacher Spotlight: Cherilyn Eveleth

T-R PHOTO BY LANA BRADSTREAM St. Francis Catholic School fourth grade teacher Cherilyn Eveleth looks forward to going to work every day. She enjoys the drive from her home in Union and she enjoys the company of her students and co-workers.

Meet Cherilyn Eveleth, fourth grade teacher at St. Francis School in Marshalltown. She instructs her students in all subjects except for social studies and religion.

Eveleth, 44, is originally from Conrad and resides outside of Union with her husband, Daniel. She graduated from BCLUW in 1994. Eveleth graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls in 1998 with a bachelor’s of arts degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. She then attended Buena Vista University in Mason City and graduated with a bachelor’s of arts degree in elementary education. Eveleth is licensed to teach preschool through eighth grade and special education.

She has been employed at St. Francis for 15 years and previously taught fifth and sixth grades.

Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher?

A: I knew I wanted to work with children and their families, and I thought I was going to be an in-home counselor. I wanted to have the opportunity to be a positive influence on children and their families. Giving children a safe, caring environment in which they can learn, thrive and have fun has always been an interest of mine. I also had some very influential people in my life who were teachers who worked hard to help shape me into the person that I am today. So, it made me want to follow in their footsteps.

Q: What is it like being a teacher at your school?

A: It’s absolutely the best. Honestly there is nothing I would rather be doing for my job and no place I’d rather be. I look forward to going to work each day. At St. Francis we are a team and a close-knit family of staff members and students who challenge one another to be our best selves everyday.

Q: What do you want people to know about your job or your school?

A: St. Francis is a Catholic elementary school. We seek to serve and educate the whole child, regardless of their religious affiliation, in a Christ-centered way of living. We work to form students who live and grow in holiness and are dedicated to sharing their faith. We offer many educational and service learning experiences for students that will help them be successful.

Q: What are the biggest challenges you face?

A: There are so many education and social-emotional lessons that teachers want to teach their students in a day, that time is a factor. Another challenge is always reminding students that their greatest power is their power to choose. They have to choose what’s the best thing to say or do in each situation and their choices always affect those around them.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?

A: I love any activity that I can do outdoors — whether it be for fun or work. This includes fishing, landscaping, mowing and taking drives to explore new places. My husband and I enjoy traveling, which includes spending time at our cabin on Lake Vermillion in Minnesota each summer.

Q: What are the best aspects of your job?

A: It’s the people that I feel blessed to work with each day. It’s also the exciting challenges of helping the students learn educational subjects, but more important, to live their lives with compassion, respect and humility. I enjoy encouraging students to look beyond themselves and instilling in them a desire to serve others because that’s what we are all called by Jesus to do. I also enjoy talking with former students about their successes in life and seeing them be productive, caring citizens in their communities.