Huffpost Education

Agnes Zhelesnik, America's Oldest Teacher, Won't Retire At 99 Years Old

Posted: Updated:

She's been a part of this world for nearly a century, but at 99 years old, Agnes Zhelesnik still isn't ready to retire.

The country's oldest teacher, Zhelesnik is affectionately referred to as "Granny" at school, CNN reports. She lived through both World Wars and was a stay-at-home mom and wife for 60 years before jumpstarting her teaching career in 1995 at the Sundance School in North Plainfield, N.J. -- at the age of 81.

Now, she teaches cooking, sewing and costume-making. Her 61-year-old daughter, also named Agnes, is also a teacher at the school.

But why still teach at the age of 99? The kids keep her coming, Zhelesnik told CNN.

"I love them. They're my best helpers. That's the only reason why I come here, is the children," she said. "The children are the greatest. You know, you have your own, but when it's these kids, they're just something else."

Zhelesnik says she might retire when she turns 100.

Zhelesnik's story echoes one out of Chicago last year, where Olivia Neubauer continued to teach at Ashburn Lutheran School at the age of 100. While Neubauer told CBS Chicago she never expected to keep teaching at that age, she had no intention of retiring.

"I just love it. It's really great. The kids are really good kids," Neubauer said. "The Lord will tell me when to stop."

Neubauer died in November following days of hospitalization for fluid in her lungs.

Also on HuffPost:

Teacher Spending On Students
Share this
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

School celebrates teacher's 99th birthday

America's Oldest Teacher Does It For the Kids

Teacher Olivia Neubauer, 100, has no plans to quit Ashburn ...

Olivia Neubauer « CBS Chicago

100-Year-Old Teacher Dies Over Weekend « CBS Chicago