Evelyn Moore is going for 24. She is reaching the tail end of her fifth term as Manteca Unified School District Trustee representing Area 5. And she will be adding four more years to her 20-year tenure, starting right after the Nov. 4 elections.
It won’t be a matter of if or when. She is a shoo-in because she is not facing any challenger. That means she, along with Trustee Nancy Techeira of Area 4 who is also running for re-election without any challenger, will be automatically appointed to their seats for another four-year term. It will be Moore’s sixth consecutive term on the board.
“I do think it helps keep you young,” Moore, a retired Manteca Unified elementary school teacher said in an earlier interview with the Bulletin.
Besides being a board member, she is also a volunteer tutor with Give Every Child a Chance, and is actively involved in many other community programs and service organizations.
That personal secret to the fountain of youth started decades ago at the launching of her teaching profession. Moore began by teaching kindergarten in Oklahoma City, long before overcrowding became a buzzword in education. Her first class was a roomful of 113 kindergarteners. She shared duties with another teacher which, at 56.5 students, was still nearly double the number that each public-school handles today. That experience, she would later quip, taught her how to “herd” large numbers of children.
She never had that many during her years as a Manteca Unified School District educator. Her classroom sizes topped only 32, well below the first herds of youngsters she taught in Oklahoma. She started teaching at Lindbergh Elementary School where she taught for nearly two years. Next was French Camp School where her teaching stint lasted three years. After that, she was transferred to Nile Garden Elementary when the late Travis Branscum was principal. She worked under two more principals at Nile Garden – Joseph Cook and Bill Whiteside – by the time she ended her 15 years at Nile Garden.
Education is not just a lifelong profession for Moore. The oldest in a family of three children, she and her siblings grew up in a family that valued education. She blazed the education trail in her family by attending Bryn Mawr, where her younger sister eventually attended also. Her brother, the youngest of the three, followed a different trail going first to the University of Oklahoma and then Harvard where he finished his medical studies. Her plan to obtain a master’s degree at Harvard was cut short when she married her late husband, Paul.
Moore’s three children are all alumni of California State University, Fresno where they all live and work. Her son, the middle child, followed his mother’s footsteps. He is currently an English teacher.
When she is not enjoying her hobbies – reading and solving crossword puzzles and cryptograms – Moore is in the thick of community and church volunteerism to which she eagerly jumped into soon after her retirement in 1994 when she was at Nile Garden.
Besides being a volunteer tutor for Give Every Child a Chance of which she was a charter member, she is a familiar face at the Manteca Historical Museum where she puts in several volunteer hours every month. She is also involved in the South County Crisis Center and is a member of the Children’s Commission of San Joaquin. Being a bookworm, it’s no surprise that she belongs to several reading clubs. And, holding true to the old saying that once a teacher, always a teacher, the 82-year-old mother of three and grandmother of six also donates her time at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Manteca where she is one of the teachers in the Summer Bible School program.
“As crazy as it sounds, I enjoy it,” Moore said about serving 20 long years on the Board of Trustees, the same length of time she has been retired from teaching.
“I enjoy what’s going on in the schools. I enjoy the interviews. We (the board members) interview for higher positions like the principals. I greatly enjoy going to some of the (school) performances. I enjoy going to the graduations,” she said with enthusiasm.