New Jersey teacher welcomes students back to classroom for 49th year

Toni Yates Image
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
NJ teacher welcomes students back to classroom for 49th year
Paterson Public School No. 10 teacher Bessie Ames was honored Wednesday as she begins her 49th year of teaching. Toni Yates has the story.

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- A teacher in New Jersey was honored for her dedication to education as she marked her 49th first day of school Wednesday.

Paterson Public School No. 10 teacher Bessie Ames received a special commendation, thanking her for her service.

"Since her first day of school as a teacher in 1974, Ms. Ames has touched thousands of lives. Many of the children who entered her classroom have now entered the world... as better people than they might have been without the knowledge and love Ms. Ames gave them when she was their teacher," Superintendent of Schools Eileen Shafer said.

Ames is a Paterson native whose mother worked in a factory and whose father worked as a bricklayer. Her grandmother was a teacher and was part of the inspiration for Ames to become an educator.

Ames is also a product of Paterson Public Schools. She attended Public School No. 18 and is a graduate of Eastside High School. She earned her bachelor's degree and teaching credentials at William Paterson University. She taught for 36 years at Public School No. 6 and 12 years ago began teaching at Public School No. 10.

"I am just so happy today, to be an educational teacher for the years that I have worked," Ames said. "I always tried to motivate each student I looked for the key to get them to learn and tried very hard to understand each and every student."

Ames expressed her gratitude to the Board of Education for providing the technology needed to teach and learn in the 21st century, and she also thanked the school staff whom she described as "always helpful and encouraging."

Watch | Eyewitness News back to school town hall with Schools Chancellor David Banks

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