America’s Most Dedicated Educators
There are 3.5 million teachers educating almost 50 million children in the United States. Unfortunately, teaching is a profession with a high turnover rate. The
National Center for Education Statistics has found that ten percent of teachers leave after their first year on the job.
According to the
National Center for Education Information, in 1986 only eight percent of teachers had less than five years of experience under their belts. A quarter century later, that number has jumped to 26 percent.
As more and more older teachers retire, an increasing number of younger teachers are being brought in to replace them, and fewer of them are staying in the profession.
Despite these facts, there are many wonderful and dedicated teachers out there. This group in particular stands out to us. These exceptional educators have devoted their entire lives to teaching future generations. Click through the gallery to meet the teachers who have stayed in the classroom well into their 80s and beyond.
Photo: Sean Justice/Getty Images
Olivia Neubauer began her teaching career in 1935 at Chicago’s Pullman Tech High School—before Social Security even existed! She spent the majority of her career at the Ashburn Lutheran School, which she founded on Chicago’s South Side in 1965. We’re pretty sure it will be hard for anyone to top her record of 77 years in the classroom. This amazing teacher taught until she was 100 years old. Photo: ABC 7/Youtube
Rose Gilbert recently
decided to retire from teaching at the age of 94. She began teaching in the 1940s, then took a short break before returning in 1956. She landed a job teaching English at Palisades Charter High School in 1961, and never left. And despite having long tucked away enough money to be a bona fide millionaire, Rose stayed in the classroom for nearly 70 years. Photo: Damien Dovarganes
Agnes Zhelesnik recently celebrated her 99 with her students at The Sundance School in North Plainfield, New Jersey, where she teaches her students how to sew and cook in her Home Economics class. Agnes didn’t take up teaching until she turned 81 years old. Why did she choose The Sundance School? Well, they had an opening (and her daughter also teaches there). th birthday Photo: CNN/ Youtube
Dale Swell, who
began teaching in 1954, has served as a superintendant, principal, and headmaster, all while teaching in Peru, Chile, Colombia, Germany and Hawaii. According to his wife, he wakes up every day at 4 a.m. to run and is at school by 6:30 every morning to prep for the day. In 2010 he celebrated his 80 th birthday while teaching at Hebron Valley Elementary School near Plano, Texas. Photo: Senitra Horbrook
Marcia Sauzat celebrated her 80 at Louisiana’s Pitkin High School, where she has been in the same classroom for 59 years. She fills whatever need the school has, and has taught kindergarten, third, fourth, and 12th grade over the course of her career. In her first year on the job she taught Jeanice Lambright, who has been her coworker for the past 28 years. th birthday in her classroom Photo: Texomas
The Most Amazing Snapshots of Education Around the World
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart. She has taught English in Vietnam and tutors homeless children in Los Angeles. Email Jenny | @jennyinglee | TakePart.com
Next photo gallery: The Most Amazing Snapshots of Education Around the World