New principal inspired to 'take care of family'
Baldwin City, Kan. — About the time Evie Porter returned to the classroom to teach after being a stay-at-home mother for a dozen years, her husband, Tim, began a nine-year battle with colon cancer. When Tim, her husband of 22 years, passed away in October 2010, she was inspired to pursue a master's degree at Baker University to better help support their four children, Kelsey, T.J., Regan and Paige.
"After Tim died I knew I had to do something more to financially take care of my family," said Porter, a fifth-grade teacher at Ascension Catholic School in Overland Park. "I was very motivated. There were times when you doubt if you can continue through the master's program, but you keep keeping on, and I am so glad I did. I felt as though God was picking me up, carrying me and helping me sign up for the degree program. I knew God had more plans for me."
On Saturday, May 11, Porter's children will proudly cheer her on as she walks across the Collins Center stage to receive her diploma for earning a Master of Science in School Leadership degree. The Lenexa resident was an elementary teacher for five years before raising her children, who are now 23, 21, 19 and 17 years old.
Porter began the MSSL program in June 2011 before completing her degree earlier this spring.
"It was a great experience," Porter said of learning from professors and her classmates. "I enjoyed the give-and-take dialogue between the students and professors during class discussion. You learn there is more than one way to handle any given situation. I felt so confident in the professors because of the real-life experiences they shared. I really trusted their viewpoint."
Later this month with her advanced degree from Baker, Porter will begin a new job as principal at Xavier Elementary School, which serves pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students in Leavenworth. She student taught at the school and started her teaching career there in the mid-1980s after receiving an undergraduate degree.
"The master's program gave me the confidence to take that step to become a principal," she said. "I am excited about the opportunity and feel the Baker program prepared me to be a good principal."
Throughout her career in education, Porter has focused on preparing her students to succeed. As principal she will continue to create an encouraging environment for the students.
"I want to affect kids' lives in a positive way and make their lives better through education," she said.