Tyler, Texas (Tyler ISD) — Every day Bobbie Clifton brings smiles and hugs to the faces of students at Owens Elementary School. Today, Owens staff and administrators brought a smile to Mrs. Clifton’s face by helping the instructional aide celebrate her 80th birthday with a breakfast reception at the school.
Mrs. Clifton began serving in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms at Rice Elementary School in 1976 before moving to Owens Elementary when the school opened in 1985. Today, she continues to assist students at Owens each morning before sharing her smiles and hugs with students at Andy Woods Elementary School in the afternoon.
“Mrs. Bobbie Clifton is an inspiration to everyone at Owens Elementary,” Laurie Greathouse, principal at Owens said. “She arrives early each morning, greets our students who arrive for breakfast, and makes sure each child starts the day well-fed and ready for learning. As a pre-kindergarten classroom assistant, she has taught and positively impacted many children in Tyler ISD during her years of service. We are so proud to see her accomplishments recognized and greatly appreciate her dedication to the children of Owens.”
When asked what she has enjoyed the most over her 37 years with Tyler ISD, Mrs. Clifton said she has most enjoyed watching the children she has worked with mature over their elementary years, as well as all of the teachers she has had the pleasure of working with.
“You see some special little children and see how far they have come since they started,” Mrs. Clifton said. “And it has been an education for me too, to learn with the children.”
Mrs. Clifton says she takes it “one year at a time” regarding her plans for the future. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys going out with her friends to eat or shop and spending time with her 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“It was such a pleasure celebrating with Mrs. Clifton this morning,” Tyler ISD Superintendent Gary Mooring said. “She is a wonderful lady who demonstrates outstanding commitment to serving the District’s youngest students and setting them on the path for a bright future.”