Longtime faculty member Tom Evans — teacher, coach and inspiration to hundreds — will retire in June
Veteran biology teacher Tom Evans, an instructor who sparked a passion for science in generations of students, a competitive yet compassionate coach, and a dedicated lifelong learner, will retire at the end of the 2017-18 school year, capping an illustrious 31-year tenure on the Hilltop. Read the full story here.
If you wish to share an anecdote about Mr. Evans, or send your appreciation, please share your thoughts on this tribute page.
Appreciation and Tributes
"Coach Evans, the count down to Early Sports (usually shortly after the first week of fall sports) will not be the same without you on the Hilltop. Thank you for your work ethic. You have truly been an inspiration to me.
—Wendy Drysdale, faculty member
"I had the pleasure and privilege of working closely with Tom for a number of years as an assistant when he was coaching the SG swim team. I can attest that he was a great coach and terrific role model. He had an uncanny knack of getting kids to work hard, produce terrific results, and importantly to have a good time doing it, even when they were working much harder than they thought possible.
Tom had terrific accomplishments in a number of other areas, most notably as a classroom teacher, but I will remember him as a coach, an inspirational leader, and a good friend."
—Robert L. Ceres ’55
Thank you for a difficult but rewarding biology class. While I don't work in the main fields of biology, I still apply a lot of what I learned to the world around me. I also appreciate your teaching style which was both serious and not at the same time somehow. I hope you enjoy whatever you plan to do next!"
—Kevin Shers ’02
"Hi Coach! It was an incredible honor to work alongside you for ten years. Whether we were on dorm duty, on the ice, or on the soccer field, you provided a shining example of ethical, even-keeled, and good-humored leadership. I learned so much from you-- including how to play golf-- and I can't thank you enough. Hope to see you on the links out west someday soon!"
—Alison Behr, former faculty
"Tom, your superb example and unflagging energy inspired me throughout my 22 years as your colleague. Your love for your discipline, and your ability to engage students, offered a standard I aspired to imitate. (You even persuaded me, a cat-lover, to attend a cat dissection!) Thank you, and best wishes in the future!"
—Patricia Lothrop, faculty emerita
"Mr. Evans always has been one of my favorite St. George’s faculty members who I credit for my success. I still have a passion for soccer and play and practice science daily as a pediatrician. Thank you and I truly hope you enjoy your retirement."
—Anna Thompson Ward ’94
"Mr. Evans, I think my fondest and clearest memories of you might be the ones where I couldn't actually see you but just heard your voice yelling at me to move. A very special sport, you made my first two years on the swim team some of the best and helped fostered a sense of community in our own little (or not so little) puddle. A highlight of my time at SG, the dedication you showed poolside translated over into every aspect of life, and I know that whenever I passed you in the hall or class you were always happy to chat, regardless of those precious five minutes we had between classes ticking away. I hope you find yourself with a few more minutes to spare now but don't take it easy. After all, PCBF."
—Sam Ayvazian-Hancock ’15
"Tom - all the best in your next adventures! How lucky I was to have the honor of coaching girls' varsity soccer after your long run of crafting incredible experiences for SG female athletes. You showed me how to build a pre-season program (I think you would bring out the notes on your lake dock in July to review?), to raise the bar high for your expectations (didn’t you have players sleep on the field so as not to miss an early AM session?) and to treat your players with kindness and respect. I was never able to match the quality of your coaching but you certainly were a wonderful model for a younger teacher and coach!
—Tony Jaccaci, former faculty member
Thank you for your years of guidance in and out of the pool. You and Mrs. Evans became my parents away from home and I will never forget your generosity and support. From freshman year in “The Puddle” to senior year in the new pool, your smile and encouragement meant so much to me during those short breaks in between sets. I am so happy for you and wish you luck on your next journey."
—Allie Simons ’05
"Congratulations on a well deserved retirement! I have so many great memories from swim meets, practices, and competing at New Englands. Mr. and Mrs. Evans were like my parents away from home during my time at St. George's. Thank you for the support, pushing me to push myself, and for welcoming me into your home for pancake breakfasts!
—Alex Cahill ’07
"Thanks for everything, Tom. You were a great faculty adviser to me and many others and I know you will be missed. I will say, I am so glad I never took biology with you as I heard nothing but horror stories of how hard of a teacher you were. I know you have earned a well-deserved retirement and I wish you nothing but the best in the future. Hopefully our paths will cross again."
—Nicholas Brashich ’87
"Tom Evans is an icon. You became the best version of yourself when you were in his class or on his team. Learning college level biology in the ninth grade was normal with him. Most importantly, we learned how to study, be on time, and honor commitments. I’m a significantly better person for having studied with this great teacher."
—William Robertson ’93
"Mr. Evans was my microbiology teacher and swim coach for three years. In class, Mr. Evans was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Dull topics became interesting and digestible because of him. In the pool, Mr. Evans aspired me to always push the boundaries and improve my times. You have made my time at SG truly special. Thank you Mr. Evans!
—Addy Cheng ’14
"Mr. Evans, thank you for pushing me to work harder, to be more curious, and to try to understand how everything fits together. I tutor now, and I always ask my biology students, "How are these things related?"
"You've also helped me through countless social situations through your introduction of the concept of Seated Dinner Trivia. Dinner parties in Seattle are livelier because of you.
"You are an amazing teacher and a fantastic human being who helped me be a better student and a better person. Thank you for all you gave me and all you've given the world by helping so many Dragons discover excellence! Happy retirement.
With love and gratitude, Tegan"
—Tegan Willever Tigani ’94
"Congratulations Mr. Evans! Your class was super inspiring, and my fondest memory was the cat dissection (which I see sticks out in a lot of student memories). It was your class that truly sparked my interest in biology research and away from the medical field. I went on to pursue my PhD in biology and was teaching biology classes in grad school for several years. I have put the degree to use and am talking biology every day. I can honestly say I love what I do. And it all started because of your class! Thank you for your love of teaching and sharing your passion with us. Now go and enjoy retirement!"
—Emily (Barria) Zalamea ’93
"Hello Mr Evans,
I wish you well in your retirement.
My son Andrew graduated class of 2014. May you enjoy your next adventure. Congratulations on all of your years teaching and to your upcoming retirement."
—Allysen Sloane Lynch
"I can only imagine how hard this decision was for you to make! You have been such an instrumental part of the SG Community for decades: students, life, athletics, providing guidance, laughter, support and most importantly shaping the minds of so many young people. You played such an important role in my life on the Hilltop. Not only were you one of my teachers, but you were a comforting mentor, both you and your wife, when I arrived there in 1994. I love having you all as a dorm parent and providing me a place to feel like I was quite frankly "at home". On the field, I will cherish all of my memories with you as my soccer coach. I had such a passion and fire to succeed on the field, and I was so proud to have you watching over the team. All of my experiences at St. George's were shaped by so many, but you in particular, I will always remember. Thank you for all that you did, continue to do and many best wishes for all that is ahead."
—Catherine (Pullins) Miles ’96
"There are no words to describe how wonderful of a person Mr. Evans is. He refused point blank to let me fail biology. Taking time to tutor me and push me when I had decided I couldn’t “do” science. I truly think he is one of the greatest and kindest people I have ever met and it was a true privilege to have him as a teacher, coach and a friend. Thank you for everything. So much love to you and Mrs. Evans. You always have a place to stay in London if you ever want to make the trip across the pond!! Xxx"
—Elizabeth Andrewartha ’06
"Mr. Evans, thank you for being one of my biggest inspirations during my time on the Hilltop. I will never forget your biology class, especially the cats! But most of all, I will always remember the amazing environment you fostered for the swim team! I will forever hear the Beatles when I swim. PCBF, good luck.
—Gigi Moylan ’14
"Mr. Evans introduced me to the world of microbiology and inspired my interest in global infectious diseases. I learned so much from him as a student, and after I graduated from SG he continued to keep in touch to talk micro and career, and to let me visit the new science building whenever I was back in town! I now work in infectious disease epidemiology and it all traces back to that first micro class with Mr. Evans that made me excited to learn more each time I went to class. Once my teacher, I now consider him a friend. SG will greatly miss Mr. E on the hilltop! Best wishes!!"
—Linnie Gummo ’11
"Mr. Evans was hard nosed and tough yet super loving and compassionate. Thanks for making me a better person."
—Jerry Pullins ’93
"Congratulations Mr. Evans! I have such fond memories of 20 House with you as one of our anchors and dorm supervisors. And your enthusiasm for biology was infectious in the classroom. I can't imagine St. George's without you. I know your retirement is well deserved. Wishing you all the best on your new adventures!!!
P.S. I'll miss all your Second Beach photos on Facebook."
—Alice Hanson ’91
"Many congratulations and well-deserved praise for your time at SG and the considerable influence you have had on its students and faculty over your career. Your classroom for AP Biology not only gave me preparation for the exam, but also for life beyond SG. I was taught how to understand photosynthesis, taxonomy, and DNA/RNA; from your example of leadership, I saw how to conduct myself with confidence and a real joy for the subject and learning that inspired your students to reach for their best. The 5 that I made on the AP exam was a team effort that I am proud to say was as a result of your teaching. It remains a milestone of great significance to me. I am sure that there are many, many others who have such stories in which you play a large part. Bravo, Mr. Evans!
—Justin Craib-Cox ‘90
"Congratulations on your retirement Mr. Evans! You are one of the most influential teachers I've ever had. Best wishes!"
—Alana Ahern Nance ’07
“The first day of school next fall is going to be very different for me. For 27 years Tom has been in the science building (old and new) teaching next door to me. He has been there to help me learn the ropes as a new teacher, to collaborate with on laboratory experiments, to bounce ideas off of, to teach me about topics in HIV and microbiology, to share frustrations, to chat about biological research, but mostly to be a friend. I will miss him and only hope that I can give the support to my colleagues that he has given me."
—Holly Williams, biology teacher
“One thing I love about Mr. Evans are his analogies. Even though sometimes they may sound like they make no sense, they are actually very helpful. For example, when we were learning about RNA and DNA he said "it's like I'm trying to build a microwave, but the directions (DNA) are in French. I need someone to act as the RNA and translate the directions so I can build the microwave." “He always comes up with ways to remember things. He also makes the labs we do very interesting, and I'm always excited for his class. I appreciate how he can make a class informational, but at the same time entertaining and engaging. I wish Mr. Evans well in his retirement, and hope he comes back to visit!”
—Brady Lyons ’21
“Mr. Evans was my third-form biology teacher in 1996-7. I remember vividly his lecture on cat anatomy in preparation for our dissection project. (Cats have this cool band of muscle that allows them to bring their shoulder to the center of their chest, the better to swat their prey... how cool is that!) He peppered the lecture with anecdotes from his time working in a morgue. Though I'm now firmly on the Humanities path, I still think of Mr. Evans' class as a moment when I might have turned, because his passion for biology was, for our time together, my own.”
—Cory Cramer ’00, English teacher
“Tom was the department chair when I was considering an offer to come to SG. There were of course many things to consider, but Tom's openness, his obvious love of the kids and his thorough knowledge of microbiology truly impressed me. After coming to the Hilltop, it was clear to me that Tom's mixture of joy and the highest academic expectations are something I can only aspire to emulate. He has impacted so many future scientists, and genuinely helped make the St George's science department what it is today.
“Tom affected every aspect of a student's growth in a course. For example his pursuit of the perfect set of notes might frustrate kids initially, but when they are made to rewrite them, and then quizzed on their contents, the students learn a skill that will help them forever. What Tom teaches is about so much more than biology.”
—Bob Wein, physics teacher
“I've always admired Tom's remarkable ability to inspire his students and athletes through a combination of very high standards and genuine care for their progress and welfare. They strive to meet his tough Old School requirements because of the culture of mutual respect he creates. He brings excitement, curiosity, and first-rate expertise to whatever he undertakes. Only Tom could inspire kids to embrace "pain is fun" as a cheery team motto.
“We've had many exceptional athletes on the faculty over my years at SG, but I can't think of any who matched Tom's national level excellence in TWO Division I sports (swimming and soccer). And despite this exceptional level of achievement and despite his clear competitive drive, he impressed me most dramatically during a season of girls’ cross country when he inspired a few novice runners to achieve their goal of jogging the entire course without stopping. Tom is a natural athlete but at a big-boned 6' 4" he is not a natural distance runner and he was not, let's say, a young man at the time. He trained with the runners and when the girls ran the whole course in a late season meet, they showed as much pride and felt as much satisfaction as the race winner. That's great coaching.”
—Jeff Simpson, English teacher
“Tom has served as a standard for great teaching ever since I started here,” he said. “He is someone I looked up to as a young teacher, and he is still someone I look up to today.”
—Scott Stachelhaus, chemistry teacher