Five Questions with Mrs. Overgaauw

Sara Cabrera, Writer/ Copy Editor

Mrs. Overgaauw began her career in teaching and coaching track and field after previously dealing black jack at Harrah’s casino in Lake Tahoe.



Q1. When and why did you begin dealing black jack?

A1. I started in ’92, and they used to recruit in the summer from the colleges from UC Davis and Chico State for cocktail waitresses and dealers, and I thought, ‘Well, that sounds kind of like fun, and I have nothing to do after I graduate, so hey, why not?’


Q2. How long were you a black jack dealer?

A2. I went and worked for the summer [after graduating college]. I traveled around Europe for five months and when I was done, I was like ‘I wonder what I’ll do now, well hey, it’s almost summer, so I might as well go back. Then some of the people I was hanging out with were saying, ‘Well let’s do it for a ski season and I said, ‘Alright, why not?’


Q3. Why did you enjoy this particular occupation?

A3.  I kind of got stuck because money is really good. You’re in Lake Tahoe, and you’re skiing and biking every day, so it was too good to leave until I had to.


Q4. What made you stop?

A4. My back went out, so I got out of bed one day, put my feet on the floor, stood up and was done. That was about a year and a half of sort of working. Then I couldn’t work for 3 weeks, and then I worked for 5 weeks and then I was off for 2, so there was a lot of back and forth. I went to doctors, got shots, and nothing was working.  I finally had to move back down here, because this is where I grew up, and I had back surgery. I knew I needed to leave. It’s not the kind of job that’s beneficial to society.


Q5. How did teaching and track become a part of your life?

A5. I was getting my teaching credential toward the end [of black jack dealing], so I had my credentials by the time I came down here, and just ended up going right into that. It actually was my mom, my aunt and my grandma; they were all teachers. My mom kept saying, ‘Start teaching,’ and I thought, ‘No, no, no. I don’t want to teach,’ and she was like ‘I don’t know. You like traveling; you’ll get the summers off,’ and I said, ‘Alright,’ so I just kind of fell into it even though it’s probably something I would of ended up doing anyways. I coached track in college, and I was a teacher’s aid when I was in high school in the summers, so I was always working with kids, so it was a natural fall into sort of thing.