THE NUMBERS ADD UP: Longtime EH math educator set to retire

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Eastern Hancock High School teacher Teresa Bever is set to retire in six days. Teresa will be going to work for FUSE part time as well work on her travel business, something she’s done on the side for years.

Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

EASTERN HANCOCK — After 36 years of teaching just about every math class one can imagine, including college prep classes, Teresa Bever will retire from the Eastern Hancock School District in just one short week.

Bever, who has also coached volleyball and basketball for several years before and after having her own children, loves working with kids. Still, it was inside the classroom, teaching math, where she mostly loved to be.

“It’s going to be a little sad to leave, but it’s time to move on,” Bever said. “I know I’ve made an impact on a lot of lives, but there are other things for me to do.”

Like her father and brother, Bever graduated from Manchester College before earning her master’s in education from Ball State University. Upon earning the skills needed for the classroom, Bever headed to Eastern Hancock to teach and she never left.

While she grew up in the northern part of the state, Eastern Hancock became her home in 1986. Again she followed in her father’s footsteps. He coached basketball for over 30 years at only two different school districts. Bever grew up thinking a person got a good job and stayed in one place for their whole career.

“It never really dawned on me you wouldn’t stay in one place,” Bever said. “I planted in Eastern Hancock, and it really has been a great home.”

Bever, 58, has taught multiple generations of Eastern County residents mathematics through the years, including many of her current co-workers. She wanted to retire before she started hearing comments like, “Oh, my grandma had you for a teacher,” she said.

It’s been great watching students come and go and then come back to the district as adults, Bever said. As time has marched on, she’s stayed on a steady course of helping students learn a difficult subject.

“A lot of kids I knew as 14- and 15-year-old freshmen and sophomores are now my co-workers or even my boss (Eastern High School principal Adam Barton) and that’s been kind of neat seeing the contribution they’re making as adults,” she said.

Jennifer Toth, who works in the administrative office at Eastern Hancock, said she was a student of Bever’s way back when she was known as Miss Patrick.

“Not only was she my teacher, she was also a coach,” Toth said. “Teresa has been completely dedicated to students and the EH community her entire tenure.”

Toth described Bever as a caring, fun educator and coach who will surely be missed.

As for the other things Bever wants to do, she has a travel business on the side, something she’ll be able to spend more time on by taking an early retirement.

“I really want to build that business,” she said. “I love to travel, and I love to help other people travel, especially to Disney as my kids all know. I’m a Disney fanatic, and I want to help them plan those fun trips.”

Bever will also work part-time for Families United for Support and Encouragement, or FUSE, in Greenfield, continuing to help plan events.

“I’m very excited about being able to make an impact with families and help those with disabilities,” Bever said. “I’ve been associated with FUSE for a long time. So to actually have a bigger hand in that is really exciting.”

Bever likes to call this next chapter of her life a “semi-retirement” because she will simply be moving on to do other things. Plus, knowing she’ll miss the interaction with students and watching them learn a tough subject like math, Bever will also continue to tutor.

“I already tutor on the side and will continue that because I still need to do math,” she said. “I still need to have that connection with kids because I really enjoy that and see so many positives of what that one-on-one teaching can do.”

There has been nothing better than taking a student who has struggled in math, pulling and pushing them along, and helping them get to graduation, Bever noted.

Bever’s husband, Jim Bever, is a longtime Greenfield-Central educator who also dedicated his career to one district. After teaching for many years, he’s now the principal at Greenfield-Central Junior High School and is not retiring just yet. That means Teresa Bever will be making trip plans around his work schedule.

Part of the family plans already include a couple of cruises as soon as possible. One will be to Hawaii, where they’ll go island hopping, and the other is set for Alaska.

“Those are both things we want to do and are on our bucket list,” she said. “Those two will be two of our first big trips.”

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