Closing in on the century mark and still loving the classroom

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If you watch carefully as the bell rings on any given day at Kennedale High School, you might catch a glimse of a wisp of a figure making her way down the hallway between towering 6?4 basketball players and lumbering 350 lbs football linemen.
Just topping 5? foot tall, there is no fear in the eyes and no hesitation. Equipped only with an ever present book and purse in hand, she undauntedly heads to her classroom. {{more}}
That ghost of a figure has been a fixture in KISD since the early 1980?s. Known as Mrs. Harvey by a legion of students, she has seen students and students of former students come and go along with their teachers.
By her own recollection, Rose Harvey figures she started substituting as a teacher in Kennedale around 1980 or 1981. What makes her extra special is that she had started teaching with the Fort Worth ISD in the 1940?s.
Yes, that makes her really special.
Mrs. Rose Harvey is in her 96th year and the school district may not call her as often but she is still ready and able when the call comes. She loves to come to work.
She was born in 1918 when Woodrow Wilson was president, William P Hobby was Texas Governor, the country was in WWI and Fort Worth had a population around 108,000.
She grew up on the eastside of Fort Worth in the Polytechnic Heights area . Her father was a printer who did a steady business.
Coming of age during the depression years, she said that her family got along partially because of her father?s printing business. He did flyers and ads for local stores in return for goods. They always had food on the table.
One of her favorite things was to do was to go the Poly Theatre. She always had tickets because her father printed them.
When she graduated from Polytechnic High School in 1935, she went on Texas Wesleyan College. The college had just reopened its doors after closing in 1931 as Texas Woman?s College. She was able to go because her father printed the yearbook each year.
After college, the government was advertising for women to come to Washington D.C. to work on compiling the data from the 1940 census. She went but didn?t stay long as an old beau from college came to visit and proposed.
They returned to Fort Worth and married. She has lived here ever since (except for a few months in California).
Her and her husband, John, had four children (one was adopted). He worked for ConAir until he retired.
She got a job with the Fort Worth school district as a teacher and started working with dropouts teaching GED.
?I love it but towards the end it was test and test! It wasn?t any fun after that. I said at one point they would never get me out this [job] until I died, but I got to where I couldn?t take it. ?
After retiring from Fort Worth ISD, she started her second career as a substitute teacher in Kennedale.
?From kindergarten on up, to start with, but, the little ones are darlings and I loved being with them, but it was much more demanding with little things like taking them from place to place, making sure that they had their books, coats and hats, so as I got older, I started just subbing at the high school and the junior high.?
The current crop of high school student got a shock when she showed up in their outdoor education class with their teacher Mr. Wilcox one day last fall. The class was learning archery and Mrs. Harvey didn?t hesitate to try a little target practice. She hit the target on her first shot.
But, what really surprised the students was when they found out she was Junior Texas State Archery Champion in 1934 at the age of 16.
?I enjoyed the heck of it [archery], but after I got into college, I was too busy. I had a job downtown and it was too difficult to do my school work and archery too,? said Mrs. Harvey.
Besides working as a substitute, what else does she do?
?I like to read, all of them [books]. I like murder mystery, pretty well, and autobiographies. I just like to read. I do a little housekeeping and I like to bake. That?s about it.?
She has survived her husband and one son but besides her own surviving children, she has eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
?I have to stop and count them and I can?t remember birthdays anymore,? she said with a laugh.
She adds, ?All of my friends are dead, but I have taken up with their children. It works itself out.?
What does her future hold?
?I plan to do this as long as I feel like it and as long as I can get around. I hate sitting at home. I still drive.”
She added with a smile, “I got some good genes in me.?

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