Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Lakeland Senior High School just won't be the same after the end of this term. That's because English Literature teacher Ms. Hazel Haley will be forced to retire.

The 89-year-old Haley has taught in the same room since 1952, when the high school moved from it's downtown location to the current campus on Hollingsworth Road. She has actually taught for nearly 71 years, 69 of them at LHS. Before returning home, Ms. Haley had spent a half year teaching in Oviedo and some time teaching migrant students in Moore Haven. Among her students: The late governor and U.S. Senator Lawton Chiles.

She is the state's oldest and longest serving schoolteacher (thought to be the nation's as well), and her long service is not going unnoticed. The Lakeland Ledger recently spotlighted Ms. Haley, and she was featured on the CBS Evening News "Assignment America" segment last week. Also, a free community celebration saluting her career will be held Sunday afternoon at First United Methodist Church.

It's not often you see someone with the love for their work, especially for as long as Hazel Haley has been doing hers. Congratulations on a job well done!

BTW: Ms. Haley has written a note to the thousands of alumni on her own page at the school's Web site.


Anonymous Heather said...

Wonderful to read about a really good teacher. :)

5:30 PM  

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