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Local lady receives very special 90th birthday celebration

Last Tuesday the children of Head Start and Kid Central’s preschool held a special birthday celebration for a beloved neighbor and friend. She has lovingly watched over their school for nearly an entire lifetime.

This has been no ordinary lifetime---it has been filled with the sounds of children laughing, playing and learning.

The celebration, complete with cake, cards and balloons had over 176 children and their teachers file by a decorated table to wish Carpenter a happy 90th birthday inside the Galbreath/Marshall Building.

“I’m so happy today to see all the children and their teachers,” said a beaming Carpenter. “I never forget all the little faces I’ve seen over the years.”
“I know what time everyone comes in the morning and I usually wave goodbye to them in the evening,” she added. “I always wonder how they keep all those children so active and happy.”

The children gathered in the cafeteria and wished her a happy birthday in mass and then they walked by and greeted her personally. The children also created numerous cards and a large banner.

“When the kids came in and walked by me they were all probably trying to figure out what a 90-year-old would look like,” said Carpenter.

She spoke fondly of the generations of children and teachers at the old A.G. Richardson School and now the Galbreath/Marshall Building.

“I remember speaking to the children after classes while they were waiting for pick-up and asking them about their day at school,” said Carpenter. “When a child said they had a tough day or that the teacher was too strict I’d let them tell me about it, then I’d say, now tell me what you did?”

Carpenter also offered a bit of advice.

“It’s so important that parents and teachers communicate well when it comes to their child’s education,” she added.
Many teachers commented that it always makes their day to have such a warm and charming neighbor waving to them from her front porch.
“I knew many of their mothers too,” said Carpenter with a smile.

Her home of nearly all of her 90 years sits on a hill along Old Fredericksburg Road and it has provided a lifetime of sights and sounds---all from her front porch.

“I have known her since the center opened in 1995. We have had many chats from the parking lot of the school to the living room of her home. She is such a pleasure to know and it is a comfort to know that we have her watching over our school as our neighbor,” said Dorenda Pullen, Director of Head Start.

“She’s a real treasure and we couldn’t ask for a better neighbor and friend,” said Katriece Williams, Director of Kid Central. “We were happy to make her birthday a little more special.”

“Her positive spirit always brightens my day,” said Lisa Yates, a Head Start teacher.

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