Teaching at the
Our mother, Eleanor Evans, was a teacher at the San from about 1958 to 1960. After her
youngest son (of four boys) left home to pursue his education, Mother began to think about extending her own.
She was graduated from Goucher College in 1926. She applied for and was accepted by Cornell for
a master’s degree. At that point she had a difficult decision, more education or marriage.
Marriage was the choice.
Her first bout of teaching was in West Virginia.
She taught English and Latin. Her stories about those classes and her students clearly revealed
how much she enjoyed that job. After a number of years, her husband’s career returned them to his
home town, Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. They lived in Ebensburg and added two more boys to the 2 born while
in West Virginia.
Another promotion for Dad transferred him to Pittsburgh. Once
again a move faced them. Our parents believed that raising four boys on a farm was preferable to raising
them in the suburbs. They purchased a farm about a mile from Cresson. Mother chose to
run the farm. Dad commuted weekly to Pittsburgh.
time came that the last of the four left the nest to pursue his education, Mother decided to return to the academic world.
With some anxiety, she began taking courses at St. Francis College in Loretto. Soon
she gained her confidence and applied to Penn State for a master’s program in counselor education. She
was accepted and completed the master’s and was encouraged by the faculty to pursue the doctorate. She
did very well and completed her course work quite rapidly. That put her in the position of the informal
“degree” of A.B.D. (All But Dissertation).
she was working on her dissertation, she wanted to return to teaching. The San was looking for teachers.
She joined the staff, making the full complement of two teachers. The requirement for those
two teachers was that they teach whatever was needed by the patients. Mother taught English (which she
had taught before) as well as history, mathematics and several others. When she would come back to the
house at the end of the day she was tired and energized.
She talked about her students
and how they wanted to tell her what they were struggling with both in the subject and in their lives. She
was gratified that they showed trust in her. The time she spent at the San was special to her.
In the winter of 1960, Mother had a fall, which injured her knee. Apparently the wound became infected. The
infection caused her great difficulty and she had to give up her San job. Mother died in 1962 from complications
caused by that infection.