NewsCovering Kentucky


Making A Difference: Teacher Retires After 60 Years

Posted at 6:26 PM, May 23, 2019

ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18)– After 60 years of teaching and hundreds of students later, West Irvine Elementary’s Mrs. J is retiring.

A lot has changed since Jeannette Hughes’ days in a one-room schoolhouse. Mrs. J began teaching in 1959, and 60 years later, she’s seen many faces come and go.

“Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday that I started teaching in a one-room school on Burns Mountain,” she told LEX 18. “I’ve taught under nine superintendents, 13 principals, and trained about 65 student teachers from Eastern.”

Several teachers and staff at West Irvine Elementary are former students of Mrs. J, like Mrs. Wainscott, the school’s guidance counselor, and her youngest son, Layne.

Her impact is unquestionable. With no children of her own, her classes became her family.

“She loves you and treats you like you are her own,” said former student Haley Hall.

Mrs. J said that despite her upcoming retirement, she would be back.

“I’ll probably sub, keep in touch,” she said.