Nebraska woman celebrates 68th year of teaching

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 10:51 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Kit Voorhees isn’t your typical teacher. For starters, she’s 88 and has been teaching for nearly seven decades. At a time when women were just expected to get a high school diploma, she said her love of learning has kept her going all these years and will continue to inspire her.

Voorhees spent most of her life in school.

“My happy place is the classroom,” said Voorhees.

For the last 68 years, she’s taught special education, music and art classes, authored several college courses, founded and directed the “Arts Are Basic Program” at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and now teaches several cultural studies courses as an adjunct professor at Doane University.

“The arts, all of them, are marvelous windows into learning about anything,” said Voorhees

Kit didn’t go to college until she was in her 40s while she was raising her daughters. She got her Bachelor’s degree, then a Master’s degree in musicology from UNL.

“I was a non-traditional student, the first one ever in the school of music,” said Voorhees.

She retired from teaching at UNL in 2003 but has never quite hung it up.

“I see teaching as a journey, like taking a walk together with the students,” said Voorhees. “I truly learn every single class I have ever taught, I learn from the students.”

Thousands of students impacted by her classrooms, and Kit said the students have changed her life too.

“What makes me feel alive?” said Voorhees. “Teaching.”

Kit’s family said they think she might retire soon. Kit said she wants to die with her boots on; teaching.

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