By Erin Jennings
The Year 1973 was destined to be a children’s classic. Schoolhouse Rock debuted on television, Charlotte’s Web made it to the big screen and Leslie Mirkovich, née Albert, began teaching second grade at Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary School. Forty-two years later, Mirkovich is still at it, teaching the same grade at the same school where she began her career all those years ago. “Second grade is so much fun to teach,” Mirkovich said, “because 7 and 8-year-olds have a real joy for learning and are excited to come to school.”
The 1970s had their Trapper Keepers and the 2000s have their Smartboards, but according to Mirkovich, students have pretty much remained the same. “Kids are kids,” she said. “There are always sweethearts and rascals in every class.” With such a long tenure tucked in her backpack, Mirkovich has had prior students return to her classroom, but this time as parents of second-graders. She said she takes it as a compliment that the parents don’t demand to have their children placed with a different teacher. “I must be doing something right,” she said.
As for the number of students that have passed through her classroom, Mirkovich said she typically has classes of 23 to 25 students. To get the answer, just multiply the average (24) by the number of years she’s been teaching (42). “You’ll have to figure it out,” she said. “That’s not second-grade math.” The answer, Mrs. Mirkovich, is 1,008.