Nichols Junior High in Biloxi will be torn down soon to make way for a new elementary school. Next year, students will go to class in the Old Biloxi High School. But they'll go without five people who together have served Biloxi children for almost 100 years.
Betty King, Carolyn Burton, Denise Tabor, Sylvia Bean and Photine Vlahos probably can't count how many children have passed through their classrooms and cafeteria. Between them, they have 94 years of working with children. As they retire, they have some advice about the job.
"The brightest and the best is what it takes to do this job and do it well, and what I would say is never stop learning," Tabor said.
"Be patient, and just encourage kids to do their best, and just remind them that they're good and that they can succeed," Vlahos said.
A party at Nichols Junior High on Thursday honored the women with speeches from co-workers as they bid their friends a fond farewell.