You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Teacher, 94, retires in California

LOS ANGELES — Rose ­Gilbert wanted to be a schoolteacher since she was in the first grade and was inspired by the teacher who taught her to read and write.

Gilbert carried out that childhood dream with a rare commitment — she retired last week at the age of 94 after a 63-year teaching career in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Continue reading below

‘‘I’m going to be 95. I looked in the mirror and said, ‘I better do it now before I get too old,’ ’’ she joked. ‘‘I didn’t want to leave, but I didn’t want to be carried out on a stretcher.’’

It is unclear if Gilbert is the oldest full-time classroom teacher among the nation’s teaching corps of more than 3 million, but she certainly ranks among the most senior.

She started teaching in the 1940s, took a break, and then returned to the classroom in 1956.

In 1961, she joined the staff at the brand new high school opening in the well-heeled ­Pacific Palisades section of Los Angeles and remained there until Feb. 22, passing along her passion for poetry and literature to generations of students.

Some of her former students are now teachers at Palisades Charter High School. They say she’ll be sorely missed.

‘‘She is utterly unique,’’ said English teacher Holly Korbonski, who had Gilbert as her English teacher in 1978. ‘‘We’re all sort of bereft, honestly.’’

Korbonski remembers Gilbert customizing reading lists for each student.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.