School throws 80-year-old teacher surprise birthday party - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

School throws 80-year-old teacher surprise birthday party

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PITKIN, LA (KPLC) -

Not much gets past teacher Marcia Dauzat, but judging by the look on her face Monday afternoon her surprise birthday party was success.

"I thought we were having a meeting. I really am surprised. I was not expecting all this," said Dauzat.

With students and faculty by her side and "Happy Birthday" sung, Miss Dauzat blew out her candles but not before joking about her age.

"I'm glad they didn't put 80 candles on here. We'd have to call the fire department," said Dauzat.

During her 59 years in the classroom, she has taught more than 40 years in Pitkin. Throughout her career, she has worn many hats including band director, P.E. teacher and currently serves as the school's art teacher.

She'll also tell you a lot has changed since she first started teaching.

"When I first started, we didn't have to make written lesson plans. We knew what we were going to teach when we walked into the classroom," Dauzat said.

While new guidelines have been introduced, her approach has always stayed the same.

"My philosophy has been to learn everything I could when I had a chance to because I never knew when I might need it. That's what I try to impress upon my students," Dauzat said. "I've also traveled all over the world and try to encourage my students to see the world."

Like she encourages her students to not to be afraid of trying something new - one colleague recalled how Dauzat embraced technology.

"I didn't know what to do with the computers and she was in the same fix. She said, 'Girl, what you gonna do with them?' We stayed after school and we started working with those computers. We sort of like taught ourselves," said Ora Lee Miller, Pitkin High School teacher.

Dauzat has taught most of the faculty at the school, including the school's administrators.

"It's impressive to see how she keeps on going ... She's like the Energizer bunny. People of her caliber are hard to find. She's constantly pushing the students to do more and she's constantly pushing me to allow her students to do more. So, it's a joy working with her," said Kevin Lambright, Pitkin High School Principal.

While her legacy is her students, Dauzat has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.

"I've been asked when I would retire and at the present time, I have no plans for retirement. I plan to go back to college and get my doctorate in art," Dauzat said.

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