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[Weekly Inspiration] Lessons Learned from America’s Oldest Teacher

[Weekly Inspiration] Lessons Learned from America’s Oldest Teacher

Agnes “Granny” Zhelesnik wasn’t your typical 102-year-old. Every morning, she would get up and head to the Sundance School in New Jersey to teach cooking and sewing lessons to elementary students. You wouldn’t believe how busy Agnes kept herself – between teaching classes and making costumes for the school play, she led a busy and fulfilling life.

Agnes began her teaching career shortly after her 80th birthday. Her daughter worked as an art teacher at Sundance school and told her mother she should apply when the position for teaching cooking classes became available. Check out this awesome video from The 74 Million for the full story.

Agnes was lovingly referred to as “Granny” by her students. Her enthusiasm and wisdom was shared daily with her students.

“Granny is a beam of light. This gentle strength and warmth emanates from her at all times. We have this incredible opportunity to be in her presence and to be able to learn from her” remarked school principal W.J. O’Reilly. Granny’s secret to living a long and fulfilling life? “Just be happy with what you’re doing!”

Granny taught up until October 2016 when she suffered from a stroke. She passed away in January 2017, just two days after her 103rd birthday. She shined as a positive example that age is just a number. Even at 103, she served as a reminder that you’re never done learning or sharing your experience with the world. Learning is a lifelong gift, and Granny is a beautiful reminder of that. Her legacy and kindness will truly be missed.