Evans Elementary's Namesake: Mary Evans
Mary Evans was just a mom in 1972 who wanted to get involved and help in her child’s school. Over the next twenty-one years she did so much more and was recognized by the school district with an elementary school named in her honor in 2008.
Mary Hill Evans was born in Tishomingo, Oklahoma on December 10, 1940. Along with her husband Jack and their daughter Abby, the family moved to Allen in 1972.
“Allen was such a small town in those days,” said Evans. “Moseley’s was the only grocery store and you met all the folks in Allen just shopping on Saturdays. You could catch up on all the news on one trip to town.”
The Allen Sports Association started at that same time, which was a big deal, she added, but we played most of our games out of town because there weren’t enough teams in Allen to make up a league.
Throughout the years, Evans served on numerous school PTO/PTA boards, and school committees such as the Community Education Advisory Council, which she helped start in 1981.
Because we were small, parents were called upon to volunteer for many activities, she said, even driving cheerleaders to out of town games.
Her daughter Abby, a 1985 AHS graduate, was the cheerleader co-captain in high school along with Tammy Owens. Rules didn’t allow the younger girls to ride the bus to out of town games. Mary Evans Tammy’s mother Vickey became team moms for the 7th, 8th and 9th grade cheer squads, driving them to games in their own cars each week.
Evans was encouraged by then Superintendent of Schools, Dr. John Horn, to run for school board in 1981. She accepted the challenge and served from 1981 through 1993 including serving eleven years as board secretary.
Dr. Horn and the board of trustees, including Mary Evans, received the 1985 Texas Association of School Administrators Outstanding School Board Award for their efforts.
Looking for a way to honor his wife’s service to Allen, Jack Evans helped create and fund the AHS Top Ten Luncheon in 1994. The luncheon, which honors the top ten graduates and their parents each year, also honors teachers.
Mary and Jack have sponsored and attended the luncheon each April since 1994 at locations such as The Heard Museum, The Allen Train Depot and more recently, The Blu Café at Allen High School.
The announcement of a school named in her honor was a big surprise, explained Evans. “Susie McCloud (board member) came up to Celina to meet with me and I thought we’d talk about the Top Ten Luncheon. I was so surprised when she asked for permission on behalf of the Board to name the new school. It was the biggest honor of my life.”
Since opening, the school has also adopted her husband Jack (nicknamed Corky) with Corky’s Cafeteria, Corky’s Cookout and the school’s horse logo appropriately named “Corky.”
Years later, Evans and Jack are regulars at the school. “I love this school and all the teachers. This staff cares about every student at that campus and models that for every student.
Many would agree that the same could be said of Mary Evans, a parent who stepped up to help in 1972 and has never stopped giving.