New York math teacher Madeline Scotto turned 100 last Thursday, making her one of the oldest active educators in the United States.
Mrs. Scotto, who taught elementary mathematics at St. Ephrem’s Elementary School in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, spent most of her life in the institution, where she also graduated in 1928. After spending time in college, Scotto returned to the school as a teacher, and hasn’t left since. According to DNA Info, Scotto currently serves as a math bee coach, helping little math wizards answer drills within the split of a second.
Speaking with CBS News, Scotto says teaching math and helping children learn the magic of numbers has made her feel younger. In fact, all of Scotto’s five children have already retired from their respective professions, leaving her as the only working member of the original Scotto family.
“I think helping others really is what made me able to be the person I am at 100. I never look forward to the day that I’ll retire because there will always be something that I can do, I’m sure. When you’re helping others, you’re helping yourself.”
So what is a day in the life of a 100-year-old math teacher like? According to Madeline, she climbs a set of stairs to her classroom everyday, where she preps students on how to solve math problems quickly yet calmly. She also works on countless worksheets containing complicated math problems, which she uses to drill pupils while coaching them on how to mentally multiply and divide number problems on stage while remaining relaxed in front of hundreds of people.
Talking about her one hundredth birthday, Madeline Scotto says she is lucky to be able to reach the golden age and still actively pursue her passion at the same time.
“I think it just happens, you know. You don’t even realize it. Last year I thought, ‘This can’t be, that I’m going to be 100.’ I sat down and did the math actually. I thought, I could not trust my mind. This I had to put paper to pencil — I couldn’t believe it myself. It just kind of happened. I guess I’m very lucky.”
On Facebook, St. Ephrem revealed plans to celebrate Mrs. Scotto’s birthday by asking members of the alumni to send in pictures of the math teacher over the years.
“We at St. Ephrem are putting together a slideshow to honor Mrs. Madeline Scotto for her 100th birthday. Many students through the generations have been influenced by this amazing woman. If anyone has any old (or new) pictures of themselves or their children with Mrs. Scotto, please post them to this page. We sincerely appreciate your help! Thank You!”
One of the photos sent was this nice photo from former student Jennifer Irgo, who attended the math bee with Mrs. Scotto in 1993.
Here is another one from Andrea Harkins, showing Mrs. Scotto’s 3rd grade class of 1979.
Happy birthday, Madeline Scotto! The Inquisitr wishes you all the best!
[Image from Katie Honan/DNAinfo]