Let’s meet Megan Flores, teacher of little ones…
Gerilyn: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Megan: I’ve always been drawn to working with kids. I’ve always had a heart and a passion for kids. Really, it started out with children’s ministry. I wanted kids to know that they were part of the Kingdom now – that they didn’t have to wait until they grew up to contribute to the body of Christ or to have a voice. That kind of translated over to education, which is amazing because I really found my voice by helping children find theirs. Empowering children means everything to me. Giving them a place where they feel safe, loved and honored – a place where they feel like they can thrive and grow. Kids aren’t going to learn anything if you haven’t met their basic needs. If they don’t feel loved, if they don’t feel safe, and if they don’t trust you, you’re just not getting past that. So, I try to provide a safe place where they can explore and be inspired, and I try to instill in them a love of learning. They’re going to learn their ABC’s. They’re going to learn their numbers. All of that’s going to come, but when I get to teach them that they’re strong, and they can do things on their own, and they can be independent – that really gives them the momentum to learn more and do more because I’m giving them the confidence to accomplish anything.
Gerilyn: What is your favorite restaurant in Evans, and what do you love there?
Megan: I recently rediscovered Shishkebab. I haven’t been there in a while, and I believe they have new owners now. Seriously, it has to have been at least a year since we’ve been there. I really don’t know why, but we just haven’t been there in a while. Sofia was like, “Mom, let’s go to that Turkish restaurant.” I was like, “Yeah, let’s do that.” We went on a Sunday, and we had the buffet. It was amazing. I really love the atmosphere, and I love supporting local businesses. I was so happy that I rediscovered it again. I was like, “I can’t wait to come here more often!” I was so amped up for Mediteranian food that I went to Laziza a few days later. I don’t know that I have patronized the place before other than having something that was catered by them, so now I’m a little in love with Laziza as well. I’ve rediscovered Mediteranian food.
Gerilyn: How long have you lived or worked in Evans?
Megan: Off and on my whole life… I was born a military brat in California, and then we moved to Germany, to Georgia, to Germany, and back to Georgia. Since I was small, I remember going to kindergarten here. The last time we were back, it’s been since my eighth grade year in ‘93, so quite some time.
Gerilyn: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Evans? Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Evans, Georgia?
Megan: I think I have amazing and interesting neighbors. I love them all. I would really love to see Sarah Blake nominated. She’s one of my neighbors, and she really impresses me. She’s my age, and she’s a business woman. She is really active in the community and serves families as a family lawyer. I’m just so impressed by her. She raises her own family and serves other families and supports local business women and local businesses, and I just love all of that about her.
Gerilyn: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
Megan: If I’m being nostalgic, I would say Germany because I would love to take my family there. I just remember so much about it growing up. It was such a huge part of my childhood with the culture and the food. I’d love to show them all the different places. If I’m being hopeful, I’d go to Santorini, Greece, because it’s the most picturesque place that I’ve ever seen in pictures. I think it would be incredible to visit there.
Gerilyn: What is your favorite movie, or what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
Megan: I don’t know. I couldn’t really name a favorite movie because there are a million movies… I’ll tell you, and this is going to sound really weird and silly, but TBS used to always play the same movie over and over and over again. I really don’t know why I watched this movie a million times, but apparently as a kid I thought it was a really great movie. It was Peggy Sue Got Married. I don’t know why I remember watching that movie so many times. That one and Grease. I watched those two movies for some reason so many times. I’m sure the first movie I saw in a theatre was probably a Disney movie or Star Wars or something because my Dad is really into sci-fi. So, I really can’t be sure.
Gerilyn: What advice would you give to a crowd of people?
Megan: I would tell them the same thing that I tell my kids. Nobody gets to decide who you are, what you’re worth, and what you’re capable of. It’s really important to me that my girls know that. Also, I want people to know that they’re seen, and they’re heard, and they matter. That’s just so important to me. I think so many people feel like they don’t have a voice or that their voice doesn’t matter. In this age where we have the Internet, I know that people seem to be a little bolder and feel like what they’re saying matters. I think that’s different than real life where people feel like they don’t have a say in their lives. I just want people to feel like they’re known and that they’re heard.
Gerilyn: What is something on your bucket list?
Megan: I don’t know… It would probably have something to do with theatre. I would love to go to New York and see a Broadway show or something like that. We went to Washington DC, so that was pretty incredible. I just think DC and New York are landmarks of the United States. If you live in the United States, at some point you need to visit DC and New York. We have not been to New York, so I would love to see the history of the place and do all the typical touristy things. Theatre was really important and magical for me when I was growing up, so I’d love to see a show on Broadway.
Gerilyn: What is your favorite music or three bands you would like to see, whether dead or alive?
Megan: I have a very eclectic taste in music. My family just went to see Pentatonix in concert, and I love Pentatonix because they do covers, so their music is very recognizable. The music is just gorgeous because they are an acapella group. They’re clean, and I love that. I’m not really a concert person, but I would probably go see an 80s or early 90s band like Bon Jovi or something like that. I never really went to concerts as a kid, but it would be fun to go see someone I grew up with in concert. I think that would be neat. I’ve always wanted to see the Mannheim Steamroller Orchestra. That would be very cool.
Gerilyn: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Evans?
Megan: Fat Man’s Forest. Do you remember that store? It was such a great store. I remember going there with my mom. Also, Fort Gordon because I grew up on-post with my dad. This is going to sound funny, but no matter where we were – no matter which post – there was always a Burger King. For some reason, the smell of Burger King always takes me back to my childhood. Most of the stuff we did on-post was outside, so we would always smell Burger King. I remember that smell because we would be at a fair, or we might be at the flea market or whatever it was we were doing outside, and there was always that smell of Burger King on a summer day. It takes me back to my childhood.
Gerilyn: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative, with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Evans would you go?
Megan: Goodness. It has to be a living non-relative? I would totally pick my grandma if I could. I miss her so much. Let me think about this. Wow, this is so hard. It seems like everyone I’m thinking about is dead. It would be so awesome to meet authors. That just appeals to me. I’m trying to think of people that are interesting to me. I mean, everyone is interesting to me. Let’s see. Growing up, my best friend was Stephanie Ventura, and we’re still friends on facebook. We haven’t really connected in years, but I’ve known her since kindergarten. Up until probably high school, we were fairly connected. I believe she still lives in South Carolina. I think it would be really interesting to have lunch with her and see what’s going on in her life now. I have vivid memories of us always being together. We were like family as kids. I think it would be really cool to have lunch with her and reconnect and see the person she is today. Where would be go? I don’t know. We don’t go downtown very often, so I’d like to find a cute little place downtown – a place where you’d take the girls.
Gerilyn: Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
Megan: I hope to still be doing what I’m doing. I do have a retirement plan, and I plan to be sewing. I want to learn to quilt. I regret not learning how to sew. I know I could do it, but I just don’t have the time to sit and learn something like that. So, that’s my retirement plan.
Gerilyn: Even for friends or family, what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
Megan: I don’t know if people know this about me or not, but I am a little bit of a murder-mystery junkie. I love watching true crime dramas and documentaries. I can’t watch any of those things when my children are around, but I’m very interested in the psychology behind the macabre – the pathology and what has driven a person to evil. I believe that people in general are good. I don’t think that God intends for a life to follow that path, and I know that He loves them even if they choose evil. But it’s so amazing for me to see all of the elements that really make a person become a psychopath. I’m sure some of it is nature. I’m sure there are little things in us that can be tripped. I also think a lot of it is environmental and based on nurture. I believe that we’re all capable of good and evil. It’s every little thing along the path that decides which road we choose. I’m just so fascinated by what turns on a person’s survival or narcissism or whatever it is that causes a person to make those choices. You do have people who just snap, and I think we all can see how that could happen. But to study the path of a true psychopath or sociopath, a mass murderer or serial killer – that’s a whole different ball game that we don’t truly understand. I just find it fascinating.
Gerilyn: What are three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word “home?”
Megan: Family…. I think “family” because no matter where we move, we’re always together. That’s huge to me. Home is my parents’ house. Home is my house. Home is my grandparents’ house. It’s familiarity and comfort.