COLBERT, Okla. -- Sending children off to school for the first time can be bittersweet for both kids and parents, but seeing a familiar face might make it easier. For parents of some Colbert students, that familiar face might just be one of your own teachers.
Lucille Turner has taught for more than five decades. So long, she says, that now she's teaching the third generations of some families.
"I’ve been teaching for 55 years!" Colbert teacher Lucille Turner says.
Turner says it's hard for her to believe, since she never had plans to teach. What she really wanted to do was join the army, but her mother persuaded her to become a teacher, and it's a decision she says has made her very happy.
"If you don't enjoy it, you don't need to be there," Lucille says.
Over the past half-century, Mrs. Turner says she's seen a lot of students come through her classroom doors, teaching thousands of children everything from science to English.
She says the faces certainly aren't the only things that have changed over the years.
"Changes go on all the time. If it's the same old thing all the time, lots of people say it's dull, but it's not because changes are going on in your culture and your classroom, and you really enjoy working with the students," Turner says.
Turner says technology has been the biggest change, and it's really made her job a lot easier. Westward principal Gerald Thompson says all those changes have made Mrs. Turner ready to handle whatever comes her way.
"She’s not going to see many things that surprise her, and so we really think a lot of Mrs. Turner. We think she's a very unique teacher, and we're real proud to have her at our school," Principal Gerald Thompson says.
Turner says it's been her pleasure to be able to touch the lives of so many children. Mrs. Turner says she hopes her students will look back at her as a strict teacher who they learned something from.
Mrs. Turner also says she doesn't have any plans to retire and will keep going as long as her health lets her.