Teacher retires on 95th birthday after 75 years of teaching: ‘Every child is a winner’

Grace Adkins, 95, is retiring after 75 years in the classroom. (Source: WALB)
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 9:32 PM CDT
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CAMILLA, Ga. (WALB/Gray News) - After 75 years of teaching, Grace Adkins is calling it a career.

WALB reports Adkins, a Westwood Schools educator, decided to retire on Thursday, a day when she also turned 95.

“Well, it’s been a great life with people that are learning,” Adkins said.

Adkins received love and support from former and current students along with her co-workers. She celebrated her birthday and teaching career together on Thursday.

“My motto is every child is a winner. And they don’t mind getting help,” she said.

Adkins was born on May 18, 1928, in Doerun, Georgia. She grew up inspired by her mom, who was also a teacher.

The Colquitt County native started teaching at a young age while she was still in the 11th grade.

After graduating valedictorian, she went off to college for a year but came back home after learning there was a teacher shortage. She quickly learned how to cater to each of her students.

“I never say a child can’t learn. I find out how they learn. I don’t give up,” Adkins said.

And not giving up has helped her touch so many students’ lives.

“She really truly wants to change students’ lives and she did. She changed my life,” Meghan Singleton, a former student, said.

Throughout her 75 years of teaching, she’s taught thousands of students at all grade levels and at different schools.

“It’s rewarding to be able to help children grow and become confident in what they can do,” Adkins said.