North Plainfield, New Jersey Elementary School Teacher Celebrates 102nd Birthday

January 12, 2016 Updated: January 12, 2016

Agnes Zhelesnik, believed to be the oldest teacher in America, is celebrating her 102nd birthday on January 12.

The centenarian teaches students at The Sundance School in North Plainfield, New Jersey, how to cook and sew in home economics.

She’s known to the children as “Granny.”

As for the question on everyone’s mind, she says no–she has no plans to retire anytime soon, according to Fox News.

The fact that she only started teaching at age 81, after being a homemaker the rest of her life, has helped her enthusiasm for the job. 


“My husband didn’t approve of working–he wanted me to watch the children,” she told CBS

“What else is there in life? Children make the whole world.”

The elementary school students are happy to have her. 

“I just think she loves the children,” one student said. “She puts the love into her cooking.”

“And all the children love her, because she’s so nice, so compassionate,” said another. “She perseveres a lot.”

“She is an icon in this school,” Principal Benjamin Fox told Central Jersey.

“Besides the fact that she feeds everyone and makes the school smell wonderful, she just makes everybody smile. They are always hugging her. It’s like a family and she is the granny of our family.”

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