PASADENA, Texas -- On a scorching Texas day, they came to pay it forward -- seniors from Pasadena ISD helping another senior.
“I taught 42 years,” said Phyllis Adair. “I taught everything from first grade to 12th, each for three years.”
Adair, 90, began teaching at Red Bluff Elementary in 1953.
"I loved the students. I truly loved them. Once in awhile, one of them would get on my nerves," Mrs. Adair said. "On the whole, I truly did love them."
1953 was the same year she and her husband purchased a nearby home using a loan from Veterans Affairs. Now, thanks to volunteers, it almost looks as good as new.
“It’s amazing to do that for so long, and for us students to give back to her, a teacher who has worked so hard all those years, it’s really good,” said high school senior Karen Cruz.
“That’s a lot of years, a lot of lives she’s changed,” said Juan Vera, also a senior.
Jim Hinton, 46, is among those whose lives Adair helped change.
“I had Mrs. Adair in 1975. She was my second-grade school teacher,” said Hinton. “She’s one of the reasons kids turn out the way they do. She made things relevant to everyday situations, whether it was math or skills that I still use today in everyday life.”
He’s talking about people skills.
"One of the lessons she taught me was to pay it forward, help your neighbor, open that door for someone who might have a bag full of groceries," Hinton said. "Help someone paint their house if they’re having trouble."
“I tried to teach the children to respect one another, to respect each other’s rights, and to more or less care for one another,” Adair said. “If someone needs something, you fulfill the need.”
And on this day, they fulfilled hers.
The project was handled by Seniors Helping Seniors, a Pasadena ISD program. Adair’s home was their 121st project in just five years, which is impressive considering the fact there are only five high schools in the entire district.