As busy as Marsha Stevens is, she still finds ways to give freely of her time, talent and care. Her compassion and dedication in all aspects of her life shine through, and she makes a positive impact on whoever she encounters.
She’s always wanted to teach, she said, and has worked as an enthusiastic and qualified elementary substitute teacher in the St. Johns school district for 32 years. Stevens enjoys getting to know her eager-to-learn students, and helping young children continue with their learning is very rewarding to her.
“Their eyes brighten right up when they catch on,” Stevens said.
She is also a customer service manager at Wal-Mart in St. Johns, and will be celebrating her 20-year anniversary with the company in March. She began as a cashier and quickly worked her way up. She enjoys the great team she works with and loves interacting with the community. Sometimes, she even recognizes parents of children she’s had in her classes.
Stevens lives with and cares for her sister Darlene, who has a medical condition and is a two-time breast cancer survivor. Stevens takes her sister where she needs to go and plans activities for them to share, like cooking meals and visiting new places. Together they overcome many challenges.
“[Darlene]’s had a lot of surgeries; one year she had seven surgeries. She’s pretty strong,” Stevens said. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments have also been recurring obstacles along the journey, and they encourage each other through trying times.
At the end of the day, after customers’ questions, school bells and chatter, it’s nice to have some quiet time at home, Stevens confessed. To wind down, Stevens taps into her creative side. She got her early start at age three, when her father built an easel-style chalkboard and provided her with colored chalk.
“I was always drawing on that thing,” she laughed.
Today, Stevens likes painting at home, whether sprawled atop newspapers on the kitchen floor or while watching a movie. Her favorite motifs include outdoor scenes and animals, and much of the subjects of her art are recalled from books or TV shows that piqued her interest.
Her specialty Christmas ornaments are available at the Clinton County Art Gallery in downtown St. Johns. Surprisingly, her own tree doesn’t don any of these ornaments, as she gives away much of her art as gifts to friends and family.
Stevens takes one day at a time, and enjoys each one. She strives to be helpful and considerate, and be the best person she can be.
“Enjoy life and learn something new each day,” she recommended.