HVAC instructor was recognized for his commitment to students.
Brent Evans believes coaching and mentoring are important qualities for community college instructors.
As a heating, air conditioning, and ventilation instructor at Johnston Community College, Evans says his students are his customers.
“At the end of the day, I treat my students like customers, because they don’t have to be here,” he says. Coaching and mentoring are big things with me. I like to talk to my students, get to know them, and understand their lives.”
Because of his commitment to his students, Evans was chosen by his faculty peers as the 2019 recipient of the Earl and Dot Helms Excellence in Teaching Award.
A Princeton native, it’s no surprise Evans landed a career in the HVAC industry. The son of Mark Evans, co-founder of Evans Heating and Air Conditioning, Evans grew up working in the business as a teenager.
“I started out in the duct shop at 13 where I made duct work systems and sheet metal fabrication for houses,” he explained.
He eventually moved into the technician side of the business, and once he started studying heating and air at JCC he became a preventive maintenance technician. In 2010, Evans advanced to a standard service technician and continued working full-time while pursuing his associate’s degree.
In 2013, Evans started teaching part-time at JCC while he pursued his bachelor’s degree in pre-business administration from Mount Olive. In 2018, he earned his master’s degree in business administration.
Evans says he loves to learn and that’s one reason why he enjoys teaching.
“I’m learning while I’m teaching,” Evans said. “I’m learning more about my industry, but more importantly I like making a difference in the lives of my students.”
“I’m not that much older than my students so I can connect with them,” he added. “I’m just real with them, and I think I’m in tune with my students maybe more so than others.”
Evans says the college has invested in new equipment and new curriculum standards in the HVAC program at JCC in recent years and he’s excited about the future.
“We’re in a much better place and our student quality is better than it used to be,” he says.
Evans is recently married to his wife, Christine, and they live in Princeton. He is a master of St. Patrick’s Lodge No. 617. His dad, Mark Evans, owns Evans Heating and Air, and his mom, Janet, is lead cardiovascular sonographer at Johnston Health. His parents are both members of program advisory boards at the college.