Return to Headlines

My WPS Story - Eva Glenn

Eva Glenn is an 82-year-old long-term substitute at Jefferson Elementary School. She came to the district two years ago after moving to Wichita from Texas where she taught elementary school and English as a Second Language for more than 35 years.

This is her My WPS Story.

Eva Glenn reading with a studentI was the youngest of four and was born and raised in Harlingen, Texas, near the Mexican border. My family spoke Spanish and I didn’t learn English until I was much older. My mother came from Mexico and my father, who was Native American, was born in Texas.

My mother was a licensed vocational nurse and became the nurse the doctors always asked for to assist them in surgeries. My father only had a third-grade education and became a manager for a mattress company.

I had a brother and have two older sisters. My brother worked in education and became a principal as did one of my sisters. My other sister became an assistant to Dr. Muniz who was a general doctor and also, our cousin. They all had a big impact on me and I wanted to follow in their footsteps.

We were a very religious family, so I started going to parochial school when I was four years old. They let me register for school that young because my siblings were enrolled. When I started high school, I went to public school for the first time.

After high school, I started college at the age of 17 at Texas Woman’s University in Denton. I couldn’t decide what to major in, nursing or education, so I started out as a nursing major. I met my husband, who was going to the University of North Texas, there that year. We got married and, two years later, my daughter, Mara, was born.  We then moved to Kress, Texas, a small rural community of about 800 people, where my husband farmed.

Since we lived so far from a major city that had a hospital where I could work as a nurse, I decided to change my major to elementary education so I could stay near where I lived. I went to Wayland Baptist University to get my Bachelor of Arts degree in higher education and took classes to teach English as a Second Language at Texas Tech and West Texas A&M University. I wasn’t able to finish my Master’s because my parents got sick and I had to help take care of them.

Kress didn’t have any teaching openings in 1967, so I began commuting 10 minutes north to Tulia with my daughter, where I taught fifth grade and she attended kindergarten. The following year I was able to find a job in Kress, where I taught kindergarten, first grade, ESOL and Head Start. I was the only bilingual teacher in town and taught everything: music, science, PE, and English as a Second Language.  I also taught high school Spanish and conversational Spanish to adults in the Plainview, Texas, school system.

I retired from teaching after 35 years. Even after that, I have continued to be a substitute teacher for more than 20 years!

About two years ago, my husband and I moved to Wichita to join my daughter, Mara, and her family who had moved here several years ago.

Mara had been a bus driver for special education students and then became a para at Jefferson Elementary.

As soon as we moved to Wichita, I began substitute teaching for the district at different schools. This year I became a long-term substitute teacher at Jefferson.  My favorite thing about being a long-term sub is that I still get to be a teacher at the age of 82! This year and last, I worked all but two days.

A lot has changed since I started teaching. Students today are much more advanced, especially in using technology.

I believe I am making an impact on the students and I really enjoy being with them.

I can’t imagine doing anything else and plan to do so as long as I can!