Hometown Heroes: Karen and Joe Eulate of Mesa, Arizona
One couple. Sixty years of service.
Together, Joe and Karen Eulate of Mesa, Arizona, have dedicated almost 60 years to the public schools in their hometown.
And that's just one way they're making a difference.
“We love anything that helps kids have a great experience, anywhere they are in their lives, at any stage,” Karen says.
That love of supporting children has shaped both of their careers. Karen – now in her 31st year in education – currently serves as the site leader for the district’s special education campus, while Joe, who is in year 27, teaches English and coaches football and wrestling at Red Mountain High School.
“They are the hardest-working people I know,” says Cindy Hunt, who first met the Eulates in 1986 when she started working for the city of Mesa. “They’re just really good people who believe that it takes a village. Nobody does it by themselves. They believe that if you give a little of yourself, it makes a huge difference.”
For the past 10 years, Karen has also served as booster president for the Red Mountain High School Football Association.
Even after long days working with students, both spend their evenings and weekends helping a variety of Mesa organizations, including Special Olympics, the American Cancer Society, and Arizona Disabled Sports.
“The Saturday before Easter they have this huge pig roast,” Hunt says. “You’re invited and they ask that you bring three more people and that they bring three more people. They will never turn anybody away.”
The Eulates spearhead fund-raising initiatives, are always among the first to volunteer for a youth organization or to serve on an education committee, and they counsel students struggling through difficult times.
“If we could give one message,” Karen says, “it would be to make the most of the community you live in. You’ll meet your best friends. You’ll meet your village.”