Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

America's Oldest Teacher Does It For the Kids

Agnes Zhelesnik started her teaching career when she was 82 years old. She just turned 99, and CNN reports that over the last 17 years, she's had a "huge impact" on her students' lives. Ms Zhelesnik — affectionately called "Granny" at school, teaches cooking, sewing and costume-making. Her daughter, a 69-year-old also named Agnes, also teaches at the school. But why teach at 99 years old? Zhelesnik just enjoys being around the students:

"I love them. They're my best helpers. That's the only reason why I come here, is the children," Zhelesnik says, her blue eyes sparkling behind silver metal-framed glasses.

"It's the children. The children are the greatest," she said. "You know, you have your own, but when it's these kids, they're just something else."


That said, Granny thinks she might retire when she's 100.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Dr. Opossum

On one hand, her love for kids and durability is inspiring. On the other hand, as someone who has struggled with finding a decent job and is currently looking, I generally read these stories and wish that more people would retire. Unless she's working for free or the area is hurting for teachers, which could be true, she should let some younger folks get a chance!