Teacher Still Going Strong At 95

The year-end recital means saying goodbye to another graduating class, but Olivia Neubauer has gotten used to it. She's taught students for more than 60 years. CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller reports.

To her 6-year-old students, being 95 is hard to comprehend. Asked who they thought was president when Neubauer was a little girl, the students guessed either George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.

Neubauer teaches reading, and has drilled the basics into kindergarteners at Ashburn Lutheran School in Chicago for 42 years.

"If they can't read, what can they do?" asks Neubauer. "That's why I'm a stickler when it comes to reading."

The children say they think Neubauer really cares about them.

Neubauer began her career in 1935 at Putnam High School on Chicago's Southside. For 12 years, she taught gymnastics, archery and dance to more than 200 girls.

Asked if it was easier to teach kids back then, Neubauer says, "I never found it hard to teach."

Neubauer has taught through a Depression, five wars and 12 Presidents. She says a lot has changed in education over the years.

"I think you had a lot more parent support years ago than you do today because moms are working," she says. "You don't have the cooperation with them helping you, you know."

Neubauer herself took 10 years off to raise her two children. Her son is about to hit retirement age.

"You know they say to him, 'Are you gonna retire?' and he says, 'I can't retire, my mom's still working,'" says Neubauer.

But don't expect her to stop working anytime soon. Longevity is in Neubauer's genes: Her mother lived to 100, her grandmother to 96.

"I've been blessed," she says. "It's been a real, beautiful life. I really have enjoyed life and I've enjoyed the children all the way through."

A devoted teacher to future generations — who finds it hard to see an end, when her students' lives are just beginning.
  • Amy Clark

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