Teacher, 100, has no plans to quit Ashburn school

January 25, 2012 3:30:08 PM PST
Chicagoan Olivia Neubauer started teaching at Pullman Tech High School in 1935. Seventy-seven years later, she's still at it.

Neubauer, 99, teaches at Ashburn Lutheran School on West 83rd Street. The private school stressed the basics, like reading, which starts in prekindergarten. Neubauer, who will turn 100 on March 11, is a reading teacher.

"My son keeps saying, 'Mom when are you going to quit?' I say the Lord will tell me when to quit," Neubauer said.

Neubauer works now almost on a one-to-one basis. When she started her career 77 years ago, the student to teacher ratio was much different.

"Oh, I don't know I had 200 kids at Pullman Tech all the time. Two hundred girls-- first, second, third year of high school," Neubauer said.

In 1935 she was teaching physical education. Now it's all reading and she's here five days a week from 6 a.m. to noon. She can't get enough of it.

"I just love it. It's really great. The kids are really good kids," Neubauer said.

"She's an excellent teacher. All her kindergarten boys and girls can read well mid-year at Christmas time. They're fluent readers by then," Pastor Elizabeth Hiller, Ashburn Lutheran School, said.

Neubauer helped found Ashburn Lutheran in 1964 and has been a force ever since.

She said her secret to longevity is simple ... Genes. Her mom lived to 100, her grandmother to 96, and two cousins made it to 101.