Q&A with Sylvia Evans, Facilities Manager

We are thrilled to kick off our 2014-2015 Faces Around SLLIS Q&A series with SLLIS Facilities Manager, Sylvia Evans.

Who are you and How did you get to SLLIS? 

I came on-board with SLLIS in mid-2010. At the time I was working in the animal welfare field and going to school at Lindenwood University. One of my Professors at Lindenwood was an acquaintance of SLLIS Board Member, Vince Schoemehl, and was aware of this cutting edge school start up that was taking roots in St. Louis. After little encouragement by my professor and Rhonda, I was hooked on SLLIS. I was most eager to be apart of this emerging team working to make a drastic impact on the St. Louis community. Like so many others since me, I was inspired by all the possibilities I could see for students coming out of a program such as SLLIS; I wished I could have shared in this opportunity as a child; and I could envision what the success of this school could someday mean for the appeal and draw of St. Louis. I knew I had to be apart of SLLIS from the moment I learned about their mission and vision. In my time with SLLIS since, I have been in the roles of Office Administrator, Director of Operations, and now Facilities Manager. I am so pleased to have been able to grow with SLLIS over the past five years and I only look forward to the next five.

If you could have dinner with 5 people (dead or alive) who would they be?

1) My Grandma Marie, she passed away before I was born. I have only heard stories about how much I am just like her and how much she would have loved me. I would just like to have the chance to experience that firsthand.

2) Lucille Ball, what can I say but “I Love Lucy”

3) Edgar Allen Poe, adds a nice dynamic to the group

4) Temple Grandin, I am so fascinated by her work and all that she has been able to achieve for animal welfare while living with Autism

5) Madame C. J. Walker, what a story she would have to share being the first female self-made millionaire in addition to having been born on a Louisiana plantation in 1867 into family of former slaves.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

When I am not at SLLIS I am engaged in coaching youth girl’s volleyball through CYC or Club Gemini; I am supporting ALS and MDA events for awareness and fundraising as my father is currently living with ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease); or I am at home relaxing with one of my four dogs (Fred, Task, Gir, & Holly), three cats (Mickey, Pernicus, & Pitch), painted turtle (Tequilla), pineapple cheek conure (Hijinx), or short-haired rabbit (Goblin)!

Tell us about your favorite vacation.

On a work related trip for SLLIS, I had the fortune to attend a training conference in Washington, D.C.. I didn’t think much of my destination before my trip but could not have been more pleasantly surprised when I arrived. The beauty of the blooming cherry trees, the history abounding everywhere, the monuments…I never understood the draw of monuments having grown up in St. Louis with the Arch and never seeing what tourist saw in it. The Washington Monument lit up at night is really inexplicably awe inspiring. Being on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking out over the Reflecting Pool and experiencing being where so many stood during the March on Washington. It made the history I had only read or seen movies about really come to life; it touched home in a way I never saw coming. In the evenings after my conference day was concluded, I spent hours walking the streets and parks of the city; I soaked in the people, the architecture, the historical context, and the business presence – FBI Headquarters, WWF Headquarters, the Smithsonian Institution, and on and on. I really left wanting to do and see so much more. I cannot wait until I am able to return and share the experience with loved ones.

What are your hopes and dreams for SLLIS?

My hopes and dreams for SLLIS are for the school to rise above all of our wildest expectations while always remaining true to the original purpose. I dream that SLLIS will always continue to grow and will gain a place in the national history books as the first of its kind and as the inspiration to all the schools like it to come. I hope that SLLIS is successful long after the last of us are gone. I look forward to the days when founding students become future SLLIS teachers, when current SLLIS students become history makers and national speakers for their causes. I look forward to the days ahead of SLLIS full of nothing but anticipation for what is still to come.

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