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America’s Oldest Teacher Is Now a Youthful 102 Years Old

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With age comes wisdom and this teacher has a lot of wisdom to pass on to her students.

Agnes “Granny” Zhelesnik, who teaches cooking and sewing at The Sundance School, in North Plainfield, N.J., turned 102 on January 12.

Granny, who makes the oldest nurse in America look like a toddler, started working at the school when she was 80, an age when a lot of people would already be well into retirement.

She tells The 74 her job serves a real purpose.

This is something that they’re going to use for the rest of their lives. They’re not going to have it just for today. You’ll be surprised how they are going to remember it when they get older.”

Granny no longer drives, but that’s okay — she hitches a ride to school each day with her 72-year-old daughter, who also just so happens to teach at Sundance.

The school’s principal, W.J. O’Reilly, can’t gush enough about Granny, saying she “is a beam of light, this gentle strength and warmth that emanates from her at all times. We have this incredible opportunity to be in her presence and to be able to learn from her.”

As you might guess, Granny loves what she does, saying simply, “This is happiness for me.” If only everyone can find this kind of happiness.

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