Like mother, like daughter, times two
Post Independent Staff
CARBONDALE ” Leslye Hoover never thought she’d grow up to be like her mom.
“It is amazing to me now, to realize how much my mother influenced me. … I find myself talking like she does, and doing traditions like she did,” said Hoover, about her mother, Verna Franke. “As I have grown older, I have taken on my own identity; however my mother’s influence becomes even more apparent.”
Sitting between her mom and her 22-year-old daughter Linsey Short at Heritage Park Care Center, where Franke lives, Hoover recalled her mother’s influence in her becoming a teacher.
“I played school in the summers with the neighbors,” said Hoover, born and raised in Glenwood Springs. “My mother encouraged me to go into education. She would share with me some of her stories about kids and how they would improve their success, and how that made her feel. I decided to go to the University of Northern Colorado. So, I graduated in 1979 with a teaching degree.”
A fourth-grade teacher at Glenwood Springs Elementary, Hoover teaches in the same room that served as her third-grade classroom. After raising three children, Franke worked at Glenwood Springs Elementary for 15 years as a Title I reading program aide. Today, she is a grandmother of six.
“I just loved to work with kids,” Franke said. “It was something that I loved ” teaching kids to read and write. I liked to help the kids who had problems.”
Like her mother, Hoover has made a career of working with children. She has been in education for 28 years, drives a bus route after school, and even teaches driver’s ed and summer school in her off-time.
“We learn as much from the kids as they learn from us,” said Hoover, who was a single mother of twin daughters for 14 years.
Hoover recalled her first year of teaching in Strasburg, Colo., when the superintendent’s son was in her fifth-grade class.
“I asked him if he was done with something and he said, ‘The only thing that is done is a cake,'” she said. “He said ‘You should have asked ‘Are you finished’ or ‘Is it completed?””
She also remembered her dad flying her to her first teaching job interview in Strasburg from the Glenwood Springs Airport.
“He flew me out on my lunch break ” I worked at Bill Bullock’s,” Hoover said. “I took a long lunch break that day.”
Hoover and Franke’s passions for working with kids has passed on to the next generation of women in their family. Short also graduated from UNC with an education degree in December and recently finished an eight-week substitute teaching position at Basalt Elementary School. This summer, Short will work with Aspen Parks and Recreation Department’s children’s summer camp.
“I think you have to like kids,” Short said. “I’m certified to work with kids kindergarten through fifth grade. I wouldn’t mind also coaching volleyball and tennis.”
Short’s twin sister, Krysta, also graduated from UNC and worked in education. She taught elementary computer classes for a semester in Carbondale, then worked with Glenwood Springs Elementary’s preschool and toddler program for two years. Now she is a flight attendant with Continental Airlines, based out of Houston.
“I was raised to reach for the stars, which is even a quote I use now. Hopefully my daughters have found their passion, make their own choices, and are confident in their choices,” Hoover said. “I have read that what finally transforms a daughter into a mother is years of experience, maturity, wisdom, and learning from our mistakes.”
Hoover hopes her mother’s values extend to her own daughters’ lives.
“She always wanted us to have a positive attitude and to do the best that we could,” Hoover said. “She always taught us to be fair, to be kind, and to be proud of who we are. She was a great role model and hopefully I am that for my daughters.”
Looks as if Hoover’s daughters have grown up to be just like their mom, too.
Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518
Estimated number of mothers of all ages in the U.S.
Average number of children that women today can expect to have in their lifetime
About 4 million
Number of women who have babies each year in the U.S.
Average age of women when they give birth for the first time ” a record high
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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