The following interview with our new President/Principal Dr. Everett appeared in our 2020 Magazine.
Tolton Catholic: Let’s start with the most burning question on everyone’s mind. You will be moving from Orange County, CA to Missouri. Are you crazy!? What are you looking forward to about the change in scenery?
Dr. Everett: Haha, I might actually be a little crazy, but we have lived all over the US and found beauty everywhere we go. I am looking forward to having four seasons and seeing my kids play in the snow.
TC: Can you tell us a little about your family? Do you have any pets?
DE: I have been happily married for almost 19 years to my best friend, and we have five children. My wife and I were college sweethearts. Unfortunately, I am allergic to pretty much everything with fur or feathers, but we do have some fish.
TC: Where did you grow up and attend school?
DE: I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and went to Catholic schools, including Loyola Blakefield which is an all-boys Catholic high school. My dad was in the military and my mom owned a business. My whole family still lives in Maryland.
TC: Students would like you to know that it’s perfectly acceptable to call a snow day in Missouri at the first sign of flurries. Have you ever had a snow day before?
DE: Because we have lived in California for 17 years, I am looking forward to a good snow day probably just as much as the students! I plan to make it my snow day mission to find a place to snowboard in Missouri. I will have to trust the students at Tolton that flurries are enough to call a snow day. Fun fact, here, in California, we are more likely to have schools shut down due to fires and excessive smoke than snow. When I was a new teacher, we had off over a week of school because of wildfires.
TC: What was the biggest factor in your decision to take this position?
DE: For me, Catholic education is a vocation. It is my life’s work, and I love it. I started a nationwide search this year for a new position in a high school, so I got to learn a lot about different schools and parts of the country. Bishop McKnight’s vision for Tolton is exactly what I have been looking for, and the more I learn the more this decision feels absolutely right.
TC: The students recently made a video to welcome you to the Tolton community. What are you most looking forward to in working with the student body?
DE: My family and I loved the video! Thank you so much for welcoming us; we were honestly very touched that the students took the time to introduce themselves and their Houses. Moving my family halfway across the country is difficult, but I am really looking forward to getting to know the students and the Tolton families. For me, community is the best part of working in a school, so I am also looking forward to being an authentic part of Tolton instead of just the new guy.
TC: You have spent most of your professional career in Catholic schools. Why have you felt called to teach and serve in faith-based education?
DE: I am an ardent Catholic. I was not serious about my faith when I was in high school, but I did develop a love for philosophy and a desire to learn more about Catholicism. Not long after high school, I began to get involved in my Parish and strove to build a relationship with Jesus. I now know that he was seeking me even as I thought that I was seeking him! After college, I visited the classroom of my best friend who was a teacher, and I instantly fell in love with the idea of teaching. I decided to go into education and was offered several teaching jobs across the country and even one in England! I chose a school in Southern California because my wife and I had several good friends there. Within the first two weeks of teaching, I was hooked! As an educator, Catholic education provides the most freedom for me. I am able to help create an environment where the truths of our faith can be taught and, at the same time, allow the students to experience a rigorous academic education. Most importantly, though, I am able to work in a school that teaches that we are made with immense love by a God who knows us intimately.
TC: Tell us something interesting about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume.
DE: I enjoy photography, cooking, writing computer programs, and just being with my family.
Favorite food? Loaded nachos
Favorite sports team? Baltimore Ravens
Who do you most admire? Plato
Favorite activity on a warm day?
Riding my skateboard
Favorite saint? St. Padre Pio
Favorite musician/band? Nirvana
Favorite book? Tough call… Being in Time by Martin Heidegger or The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Morning person or night owl?