This month's Jefferson Award winner, Evelyn Cole - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

This month's Jefferson Award winner, Evelyn Cole


HOUSTON, Minnesota  (WXOW)  ---- Evelyn Cole does a lot of driving.  "She takes kids to the library to make sure they have access to that. She takes kids to preschool knowing that their parents can't take time out of their jobs. She takes time out of her day to make sure they get where they need to be."  Matt Schutte is a teacher at Houston Elementary.  Miss Evie drives his kids to school from daycare.

Ms. Evie picks kids up at home, takes them to daycare, then to school and then back to daycare on one condition.  No money. No gifts. Period.

Marissa Bailey runs a daycare in town and says if the kids don't appreciate it now, they will one day.  "It shows the little kids that she's taking time out of her day, she cares about them. And I think that if they don't know that now, they will some day."

Evie says she knows the importance of an education. And she knows how hard it can be on young couples when both have to work.  "My parents were uneducated. They had an 8th grade education and they did the very best they could to raise us and that's why I always knew I wanted to be a teacher."

Miss Evie is 78 now but many years ago she was a 2nd grade teacher. She's supposed to be retired. "Last year I had a morning class as well so I had morning and afternoon and at suppertime I would fall asleep at the table. It was a full day."  And a busy one, zipping around town in her jumper with school house earrings to match-and a little red car that the kids call a little red school bus.

Evelyn has two daughters but no grandkids.  "If we had grandchildren we wouldn't be doing all of this so clearly it's meant to be."   And as for her not having any grandkids, that's not entirely true. On a routine doctor's visit, a man who lives in Houston overheard her telling the nurses that and quickly chimed in.  "That's not true. Evie has about 200 grandchildren in this town."


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