A Triple Play for Education

Temple sisters pose for picture in front of the campus panther.

The three Temple sisters followed in each other’s footsteps on the path to careers in teaching and education.

Ava Evans, who graduated in 1972 and her sisters, Carole Gupton, ’67 and Arleen Temple, ‘71 all grew up in Milwaukee, the three youngest of a family of 10. All three came to UWM for their education degrees – Gupton in exceptional education; Temple in early childhood education and Evans in curriculum and instruction 1-8.

The three came back in mid-August to visit the School of Education, enjoying a tour of Enderis and visits to some of the programs.

All three give credit to the School of Education for preparing them for long and successful careers.

“I always thought it was a strong program that gave me some strong foundational skills,” says Gupton. “It gave me the opportunity to teach at a variety of schools and learn to meet different challenges.”

The preservice opportunities to be in classrooms helped them make their career choices in the field. “That’s when I decided I wanted to teach the upper grades, not kindergarten,” says Evans.

After starting out as a teacher in Milwaukee, Gupton became a methods and materials specialist, special education coordinator and principal. She retired in 2002 and joined the University of Minnesota’s School of Education for 10 years, and still works with districts and administrators.

“I like being part of the education field,” she says.

Temple taught early childhood education in Milwaukee Public Schools. “I just loved my job. I loved coming into school every day.” She taught at Hopkins Street School in the same classroom in the same grade for all 34 years.

Evans taught in MPS for 32 years, retiring in 2005. “I had some wonderful classes. In fact, one of my best classes was in my last year of teaching. I’d see things changing and everything, but I really enjoyed my job.”

Gupton says she loved visiting her sisters’ classrooms. “Their classes were always so full of energy and enthusiasm. They really helped me be grounded in my work with teachers.”

All three say they made the decision to enter the education field early.

Gupton was inspired when, as a sixth grader, she was asked to fill in briefly in an emergency in a special ed classroom full of younger students. They weren’t behaving very well, she recalls, and Gupton decided she could do better. “I decided I would teach and I would teach in special ed.”

“I had a scholarship and I knew I wanted to be a teacher,” says Gupton. “Everyone said this (UWM) was the best place if you wanted to be a teacher, I think because it had been a teachers’ college.”

Temple was one of 25 high school students chosen to come to UWM as part of a special two-year program called Project Destiny, most of them interested in becoming teachers. “I liked UWM so I stayed.”

“I can’t ever remember wanting to be anything else,” adds Evans. “I just always saw myself as a teacher.”

The sisters often visit each other. Evans and Temple still live in southeast Wisconsin, in West Bend. Temple taught at Hartford University School near UWM for 18 years. However, they hadn’t all come back to campus together in decades. Their summer visit grew out of a UWM alumni reception Gupton went to in Minneapolis, where she met Chancellor Mark Mone and Diane Grace, director of major and planned giving.

They encouraged her to come back and visit the campus, and she told them that her two sisters were also School of Education alums.  So with the help of Grace and Carol Wacker, from the School of Education development office, the trip was planned.

The sisters were amazed at the number of new buildings, especially residence halls, that give students the chance to enjoy the social part of college – something they weren’t able to do when they were here.

They took pictures with the Panther statue and the fountain, but also in front of Mitchell Hall. They were glad to see other old favorites from the Teachers’ College days were still here, and that the Golda Meir Library, brand new when they were here, was still a center of campus life.

“We really like the mix of the old and the new,” said Gupton.