72-year-old well-known preschool teacher retires in Long Beach
After dedicating most of her life to early childhood education, the oldest teacher at Coast Episcopal School in Long Beach is saying goodbye.
The 72-year-old preschool teacher won’t be retiring without leaving a heartfelt impact on her former students as News 25’s Gina Tomlinson shows us at her retirement ceremony.
After 35 years of teaching, 72-year-old Yvonne Williams is moving on. “Every day that I have been able to come to school for me it’s been a celebration.”
Celebrating Mrs. Williams’ entire career as a preschool teacher was what students and staff were doing at Coast Episcopal School in Long Beach. Sixth grader Louis Weber said, “We’re having a party just for her today.”
The long-time preschool teacher’s retirement gift was a tricycle. Mrs. Williams sat on a throne while students sang to her and hugged her goodbye. One of her former preschool students, Louis Weber, is still filled with memories of being in Mrs. Williams’ classroom. “She taught me my ABCs when I was in preschool.”
“She took charge when times were needed to take charge.”
“She’s just fun,” said Louis. “She likes to get down to business, but she’s also fun in that way.”
Mrs. Williams says when she started her career she never imagined she’d be teaching preschool for decades. She tells News 25 she just fell in love with the age group. “For the majority of it, it’s the simple things. It’s just the simple things that make them, you know, you connect with them.”
The preschool has a pig that is kind of like the school’s mascot. It all started when Mrs. Williams got a potbelly pig named Petunia for her classroom. They had that pig for 11 years. “She freely roamed in and out of the building. She became a symbol of preschool,” said Mrs. Williams.
Now, just like Petunia, Mrs. Williams has become a symbol of the school and to her students she has watched grow up. “Thanks for giving up those years of your life,” said Louis.
Fifth grader Amelia Power said,“I love you. This has been amazing. An amazing journey for me and an amazing journey for her.”
“The biggest gift has been the kids, that more than anything,” said Mrs. Williams.