Southwest Side Teacher Still Going At Nearly 100

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Southwest Side teacher will soon celebrate a milestone birthday.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, teacher Olivia Neubauer is now 99 years old, and she turns 100 in 2 1/2 weeks.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

But to this day, she teaches at Ashburn Lutheran School, 3345 W. 83rd St. She has been teaching at the school since it opened in 1963, and she had 16 years’ teaching experience before that.

Neubauer also stayed home with her two children until they were school age.

So did she ever think she would still be teaching at the age of 100?

“No,” she said. “But I’ve enjoyed it.”

Neubauer teaches reading to pre-kindergartners and kindergartners, and works until noon most days.

“They really are just darling,” she said. “They’re so cute.”

Neubauer says her 65-year-old son and 60-year-old daughter wish she would retire. But don’t look for that to happen.

“If I had my choice, I’d just come back,” she said.

What does she get out of continuing to teach?

“I don’t have to sit and watch TV all the time,” she joked.

  • Not Amused

    This is NOT laudable. Every generation owes the succeeding generation the respect of RETIRING so others can share in the opportunities they had when they were starting their career. As someone who has struggled to break into the education field, even with a Masters degree, it is frustrating to hear that teachers refuse to retire. Each one robs a novice teacher of a career.

  • juju

    Maybe you should take out the old lady. That way you can have your dream job. Not to mention the pension associated with it. The nerve of granny holding on. We need a law to prevent this from happening.

    • Not Amused

      Clearly, you are too ignorant to comprehend the far reaching implications this has on the economy, education, and employment. This is not about “granny,” she is but one cog in the wheel of a large-scale problem. In fact, since the economic collapse, it has cut across many fields. Get informed or get lost.

  • Richard

    Are you guys serious? What disrespect for the elders you spit here. If she enjoys her job and can do it, why shouldn’t she? I’m quite sure she could teach the young whipper snapper teachers a thing or two if they were willing to listen.

    I understand it’s tough being a teacher these days. School closings, less pay and hard to get in the door. The issue is systemic, not a mass of near 100 year old teachers preventing novices from becoming a teacher.

    Perhaps you should make an appointment Olivia. You might just learn some great things from her rather.

  • Carol Caughron

    How fortunate for the children to have a teacher as dedicated as Olivia Neubauer. And as for retiring—she’ll know when it’s time. Til then, appreciate all she has to offer.

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    […] teacher from Chicago has been teaching since 1947, and she plans to  keep it that way,  CBS Chicago […]

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