98-year-old Agnes Zhelesnik is all set to start another school year at The Sundance School in North Plainfield, NJ where she has been teaching cooking and sewing classes for over 20 years. “Granny”, as she is lovingly called by students and staff, will soon be featured on a website devoted to honoring exceptional seniors, The Age of Happiness.
Granny is no stranger to the press as she has appeared in print and on television several times to tell the unique story of how she came to be New Jersey’s oldest full-time teacher. She might even be the oldest teacher in the country (research is still being conducted). Zhelesnik was unfazed as a photographer for the acclaimed website came to snap shots of her proudly sporting her Sundance staff shirt, posed in the school’s kitchen which has become her home away from home. She bustled around, never sitting, talking excitedly about the recipes she plans on making with the children.
Granny patiently answered questions from Vladimir Yakovlevk, one of the proud founders of The Age of Happiness Project. When asked if she minded the attention, she just shrugged and said, “I do it for Sundance. It’s a wonderful place to work and the people here are the best.”
Yakovlevk, who has traveled the world photographing and interviewing remarkable people over the age of 70, has made it his life’s mission to change the world’s perspective on the elderly. Granny’s story, and many others just like her, can be found on www.ageofhappiness.com. Eventually, Yakovlevk plans on compiling these inspirational stories into a book.
The Sundance School was founded in 1977 and has been successfully educating children for over 36 years. For more information about Granny and The Sundance School, please visit www.thesundanceschool.com or call 908.561.5055.