The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

Flashback Friday: Business and personal finance teacher Evan Stern

Business+and+personal+finance+teacher+Evan+Stern+stands+in+front+of++his+classroom.+After+facing+hardships+growing+up%2C+Stern+learned+how+to+deal+with+them+with+the+help+of+role+models+like++his+dad.+%E2%80%9CWe+dealt+with+some+trauma+when+I+was+in+middle+school%2C+and+my+dad+had+to+be+responsible+for+all+three+of+us+while+he+was+working+full-time.+I+know+he+had+to+sacrifice+a+lot.+Im+sure+it+was+really+hard+for+him%2C+but+looking+back+on+it%2C+he+did+a+really+good+job+.+I+didnt+appreciate+everything+that+he+did+at+the+time+because+I+was+so+young.+Now%2C+Im+engaged+and+probably+going+to+have+kids+of+my+own+in+the+next+couple+of+years+so+I+%5Bam+starting%5D+to+look+at+things+differently%2C%E2%80%9D+Stern+said.+
Sakenah Lajkem
Business and personal finance teacher Evan Stern stands in front of his classroom. After facing hardships growing up, Stern learned how to deal with them with the help of role models like his dad. “We dealt with some trauma when I was in middle school, and my dad had to be responsible for all three of us while he was working full-time. I know he had to sacrifice a lot. I’m sure it was really hard for him, but looking back on it, he did a really good job . I didn’t appreciate everything that he did at the time because I was so young. Now, I’m engaged and probably going to have kids of my own in the next couple of years so I [am starting] to look at things differently,” Stern said.

What school did you go to?

I grew up in Parkway school district. I went to Green Trails [Elementary for] elementary school, [and] then I went to Parkway Central Middle School and Parkway Central High School.

Business and personal finance teacher Evan Stern stands with his father at a student basketball game. Sterns’ father coached his basketball team in elementary school. “[My dad] would always coach a lot of our teams growing up and that’s why I had an interest in coaching too. I’m grateful for having a supportive parent who encouraged me to do well and was always at my games. That’s someone I want to be for my kids when I have them,” Stern said. (Used with permission of Evan Stern)
How was your childhood home life?

Really good. I was lucky to grow up in a nice house with close siblings and supportive parents. My parents did a really good job of raising me. They always had rules I had to follow and set boundaries, but they also afforded [to give] me the opportunity to explore any interest that I had, which I know a lot of kids can’t say [that] they can do. I was fortunate for that. I was [also] the middle child. I would follow in my older brother’s footsteps and I shared interests with him. I also had a younger brother and I had to be that role model; someone he could look up to. Looking back, it was really cool that I had both of those situations. 

What has changed, what hasn’t?

Technology has definitely played a big role. It’s not that kids don’t play outside anymore, but me and my friends would play basketball or football every day after school because we didn’t have distractions like phones [which] allowed us to be more social. We still had TV, we still had a little bit of that technology — but since it was so new and not many people knew about it, it wasn’t as universal as it is today. I grew up in a unique time with technology because it was being introduced when I was in elementary and middle school. It’s great [that] kids have all those opportunities now, but it can also complicate things. Technology is not necessarily a bad thing, but we’re worried more about what’s on our phone than what’s actually going on in the world around us.

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher and teach this subject?

I was always a quick learner when it came to technology and computers, and I knew I wanted to do something with that, but I didn’t really know what. When I went to Parkway Central, I really liked my high school marketing class. When I went to Missouri State, they had a business education degree to be a high school business teacher. I was like ‘I’ll give it a shot,’ and I really liked the classes I had in college. I haven’t looked back since then; I’ve been a teacher since I graduated college. 

Tell me a childhood story that always makes you smile.

I remember my grandma would always have this pool volleyball game she would do with her friends every week.  Whenever we would visit, we’d always play pool volleyball with her and her friends, which was always

Business and personal finance teacher Evan Stern (left center) stands with his grandma, grandpa and older brother at a Florida beach. Stern and his brothers visited his grandparents in Florida once or twice a year, and remembered always having a great time when he stayed with them. “When I was 10 or 11, my grandparents moved to Florida, to a neighborhood that a lot of older people moved to. I remember that every year after they moved there, for winter break, we’d always go and spend a week with my grandparents. That was always a good memory because they lived in Florida and we lived in Missouri, so we didn’t really get to see them very often,” Stern said. (Used with permission of Evan Stern)

something we’d look forward to.

What things make you nostalgic when you see/hear/smell/ feel them?

Growing up, we had a little TV in our kitchen; when my parents would make dinner, we’d always be watching something on that TV. One thing we would watch a lot was The Simpsons, which is crazy because it’s still on today. Now, when I see an episode of The Simpsons, it takes me back to waiting for my parents to make dinner while me and my brothers watched an episode on this little TV. 

Also, because I went to Parkway Central, since I’ve started working here at Parkway West, a lot of high school stuff starts to make me nostalgic. I’ve been coaching basketball and we’ve had a couple games at Parkway Central this year, which is where I went and used to play, so that’s always cool. 

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About the Contributor
Sakenah Lajkem, Staff Writer
Pronouns: she/her Grade: 12 Years on staff: 2 What is your favorite piece of literature? Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz. Who is your hero? Jesus Christ. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? My mom's mashed potatoes.
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