By Ross Markman
Twenty-five kids sit attentively at their desks in Room 214 at Havre Middle School, listening to a man who's been doing the same job for 35 years and loving it.
The kids are seventh-graders in Dave Evans' last period life science class. Thursday afternoon, they learned enthusiastically, answering questions about blood plasma, the spleen and thrombocytes.
Since 1967, Evans has taught the same grade the same subject at the same school. Monday at 7 p.m. in the Havre High School cafeteria, he'll be one of 42 Havre Public Schools teachers recognized at the district's annual pride celebration, where awards will be presented to employees with five, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 35 years of experience.
Evans, 58, is the only 35-year employee.
"I may the last dinosaur left, but it doesn't seem that long," he said. "I'd like to do it another four years or when I don't enjoy it anymore."
With the passion Evans has for kids and science the latter may take some time.
"I really enjoy the kids. They really keep you young. Every single one of them is a different person," he said. "It's especially interesting when a kid makes a connection, and the lights go on. That makes it worth it."
Teaching for more than three decades, Evans said, he's developed friendships with some of his former students, and in some cases, is teaching their children.
"It's real interesting because you get to see the real changes in kids. That's one of the things I've enjoyed watching them grow up," he said.
"Kids this age are really anxious to get involved," he added. "They're really not complacent with anything they do."
A Havre resident since 1960, Evans moved to the city from Great Falls as a senior in high school. After graduation, he attended Northern Montana College, where he considered majoring in drafting or architecture.
He changed his mind and chose education.
"I've thought about this, and I have no idea what I would have done if not for teaching," Evans said. "I'm glad I made this choice."
Besides educating Havre's youth, Evans said, he cherishes the benefits of teaching like having summers off.
Married to Ruth for 39 years and the father of two sons, in his spare time Evans can be found on his motorcycle or backpacking or working on his cabin in the Little Belts.
"I've enjoyed my years here. I got lucky and picked a job I think I've been able to enjoy for all 35 years," he said. "I can't find anything wrong with it."