More than six decades have passed since Myra Petty welcomed her first classroom of students in the Cobb County School District. Ms. Petty, who is just two years shy of turning 100 years old, taught Cobb students for 34 years and still visits with some of her former students.
During her years as an educator, Ms. Petty was Georgia Teacher of the Year and president of the teachers association.
In celebration of her upcoming 99th birthday, Ms. Petty returned to one of the schools where she helped shape the future for students so many years ago. She was part of the early team of teachers who helped open Milford Elementary School, which was built just before she started teaching.
More than 60 years later, Ms. Petty returned to Milford Elementary School, where students surprised her with an early-99th birthday celebration.
The former educator smiled with delight as the Milford students sang her “Happy Birthday.” Ms. Petty’s nieces joined her for the event at Milford and recalled their aunt’s passion for teaching.
According to her nieces, Ms. Petty decorated her classroom with a special reading nook that inspired her fourth grade students to read. After teaching at Milford, she taught at Fair Oaks Elementary School and Hollydale Elementary School.
Because Ms. Petty never had any children of her own, she viewed her students as her children. So much so, that her family would like to host a big birthday celebration for her where former students can attend. Milford’s birthday celebration was just the lead up to her 99th later this year.
The celebration at Milford gave Ms. Petty an opportunity to not only return to a school she loved, but she was also able to see and hear the joyous sounds of a room full of students again.
The seasoned educator even joined the students for their Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. She watched with a smile and a twinkle in her eye as the students danced and laughed. She was home—back in a school that brought back so many memories and smiles of decades past.