A change of demographic for student support leader


Gaby Benelyahu

HELPER: Ms. Ashley Evins is interested in making school work for all kinds of learners.

By Will Kasdan, Staff Writer

Ms. Ashley Evins, the new Educational Support Director, has plenty of experience with students who may need a little bit of extra help.

Not only has she taught humanities to students with learning disabilities and special needs at Westview School, a private high school in San Diego, but she has also taught very challenged students at Alliance College-Ready Middle Academy No. 8, a middle school in East L.A.

“The kids had learning disabilities — some with autism, others had behavior issues, and a few have experienced emotional and family trauma,” Ms. Evins said in an interview.

From that experience, Ms. Evins decided she would one day like to become a child advocate — someone who helps children with a wide range of special needs connect with the various government and social services that comprise the so-called “safety net.”  Ms. Evins describes this as “helping families support their children.”

She also volunteers at two different homeless shelters, called Daybreak and Safe Haven, in Santa Monica. She hopes that Shalhevet students will come by the shelter to volunteer as well.

Born in Orange County, Ms. Evins has been teaching for four years.  She first heard about Shalhevet when her previous school’s basketball team, the Westview Werewolves, played the Firehawks in basketball.

Additionally, she is enrolled in the same doctoral program at USC as Principal Reb Noam Weissman, who brought her to Shalhevet.

“Noam talked so highly of the school, I just fell in love with it,” she said.

As education support coordinator, she will help students with homework, study for tests, and review lessons learned in class.

“I want to help students find their academic success,” says Ms. Evins. “That would be one of my main goals in this position.”

She hopes to give teachers techniques to assess students’ knowledge in ways other than exams.

“Assessments come in different forms,” she said. “It could be a test, quiz or even a conversation.  It has to fit the student.”

Besides helping kids with their studies, Evins is also a yoga instructor, likes running for exercise and enjoys playing video games — she owns an old-school Nntendo gaming system at home.