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Marietta teacher Adele Gay honored for 40 years of service


In the company of friends, family, and colleagues, Adele Gay, an 88-year-old elementary school teacher, was celebrated for her remarkable years of dedication to Marietta City Schools. The event marked the 40-year milestone of her tenure within the district, yet Gay’s teaching career had extended even further, as noted by Marietta School Superintendent Grant Rivera.

Gay’s honor took place at Park Street Elementary School, where she teaches, and was attended by her family, including her daughter, grandchildren, and great-grandson. Rivera presented her with a pin commemorating her service to the school district.

Rivera also highlighted Gay’s exceptional dedication to teaching special education students with severe and profound disabilities, a testament to her genuine care for her students.

Prior to officially starting her 40-year service, Gay had already spent an additional year as a supply teacher. Adding to her legacy, she had contributed over a decade to other educational systems, amounting to a career spanning approximately 54 years in education. Reflecting on the profound impact teachers can have on students, Rivera expressed, “All of us (in education) hope that when we come in contact with children that we somehow leave them better than when they came to us… When I think about the generations you have impacted — you can’t put it into words.”

When asked about her motivation to continue teaching, Gay’s response was simple yet heartfelt, “I just love children. And the children I work with, you need to have people who really care for ’em. So that’s it.” Despite her years of service, she remains committed to her role, expressing that helping children holds significant meaning for her.

Park Street Elementary School Principal Alex Soto lauded Gay’s dedication, noting that her commitment is truly inspiring and something to aspire to as educators. He expressed, “In our careers if we can get half of that, we are blessed. Let me stop, because you know your principal is a crybaby.”

Rivera emphasized that Gay’s teaching has left an indelible impact on her students, transcending not only her 40 years of service but also her enduring legacy, energy, and spirit, which serve as a source of inspiration for both educators and students alike

Gay’s educational journey took her from Albany State University after graduating from Monroe High School in Albany. Before joining Marietta Schools, she dedicated about 14 years to various schools in Jackson, McDonald, and Sylvester, Georgia. 


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