A+ Teacher: Eve Finnegan

Eve Finnegan

Preschool at YMCA Child Care Berry Patch Room, Rapid City

Three- and four-year-olds are their own kind of wonderful. As preschoolers, these kids are learning like sponges and finding their own personalities without their parents. This is only one aspect that lead teacher Eve Finnegan admires of her students at Rapid City’s YMCA Child Care Berry Patch Room.

“This is my favorite age. They have zero filter,” said Eve with a smile. “They are pure and completely themselves. They are just beginning and conquering so much, from socializing and communication skills to the things we are learning. I love the spunky attitudes of my threenagers.”

Eve has always known she wanted to be a teacher. From playing school and mom when she was little, to mothering each of her six siblings, being a leader and role model to others is what Eve was meant to do.

Starting her career with at-risk youth in Minnesota, family and marriage brought her to South Dakota. She started an in-home daycare until her own daughters were in school before starting at the YMCA as a teacher’s aide in 2016. In the summer of 2018, Eve was promoted to a lead teacher and is now supported by three of her own aides.

“I have the most amazing team and we work so well together that it is just fun to come to work. It’s a treat,” said Eve. “We enjoy the kids, the conversations, and that’s what makes it a community. We all genuinely care about each other.”

And a community it is. “Eve puts her whole heart into making her classroom a welcoming place for children and their families,” said Eve’s supervisor Nicole Weiss. “There is nothing she wouldn’t do to make sure the kids in her class are happy, safe, and learning.”

Focusing a little bit in each subject, from science and math to literacy and art, preschoolers in Eve’s class will know how to write their name, know their numbers and letters, and know how to count before they head off for Kindergarten.

“When you see them accomplish something (even something so small), and they are so proud, it is the most rewarding thing to be a part of,” said Eve.

Being surrounded by little kids is Eve’s favorite thing, with every day being different from the day before. And with a passion for learning, Berry Patch is the perfect place for Miss Eve to be.


words  Jenna Carda
photos  Jesse Brown Nelson


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