N.J. Teacher, Believed to Be Oldest in U.S., Turns 100

Known to her students as "Granny," Agnes Zhelesnik became a teacher at the school at age 81

Friday, Jan 10, 2014  |  Updated 9:55 PM EDT
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N.J. Teacher, Believed to Be Oldest in U.S., Turns 100

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A woman believed to be the oldest working teacher in America is celebrating her 100th birthday.

Students, teachers and family members of Agnes Zhelesnik gave her a birthday celebration at The Sundance School in North Plainfield on Friday.

Known to her students as "Granny," Zhelesnik became a teacher at the school at age 81. She works 35 hours a week teaching Home Economics, conducting after-school cooking and sewing lessons, and making costumes for school plays.

Students in a packed school gymnasium sang 'Happy Birthday' and presented her with a cake Friday before putting on a school performance wearing costumes that Zhelesnik had helped make.

Born in 1914 in West Virginia to Lithuanian immigrant parents, Zhelesnik says the secret to longevity is keeping busy and helping others.

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