When I first met Evan at a SPEAK staff meeting, I remember thinking that this very young man, with the dark eyes, and dark attitude, would either be amazingly awful, or awfully amazing.
Well, for 15 summers, Evan was beyond amazing! His dark eyes would light up the second the students entered the building. He smiled, and laughed, and danced, and sang, and played, and his eyes were so bright and happy, that every student he interacted with knew they were safe, and very cared for.
Evan was young and physically healthy, so we relied on him to be our strength if need be, to keep a student safe from harm. When called upon he would respond with a calmness that benefited any student in distress. You could see in his eyes that he felt true compassion, and would do anything to help. The sadness you could see in his eyes would vanish only when he knew the student was no longer unhappy.
When any student accomplished even the smallest, or largest of goals, Evan’s dark eyes would fill with pure joy. You could see in those dark eyes, how honestly proud and happy he was for that student.
Evan worked well with all of our students, but he seemed to enjoy working with the very young students just a little bit more. He would chase them, and toss them in the pool, and laugh with them, and those dark eyes would just sparkle. He would walk around carrying one, or even two, students at a time, with a huge grin on his face.
It is a very difficult thing to be able to make a difference in this world.
Evan absolutely made a difference to the students of SPEAK for a decade and a half, and I know that his dark eyes are still dancing, and the strength of his soul now, is beyond anything we can measure.
Thank you Evan, for all you did for SPEAK, and please watch over us, with those dark eyes, as we continue the mission you helped us create. Our mission to guide and nurture our students will continue in your honor.
You will not be forgotten.