LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Her career spanned generations. She touched countless lives. And along the way, unintentionally, Ruby Childress became a legend. Donnie Poston described Mrs. Ruby as a legend in the Valley View School community. Sadly, the legend of the valley passed away Friday morning.
Starla Clotfelter taught Kindergarten for 28 years down the hall from Mrs. Ruby at Valley View Elementary School. She said, “Mrs Ruby was a wonderful colleague who loved to share not only teaching strategies for the classroom, but also her delicious recipes that my family has enjoyed over the years. She will be dearly missed.”
The connection between Childress and Poston was two-fold. Mrs. Ruby was his 7th grade teacher. Years later, Poston was Mrs. Ruby’s principal for 19 years when she taught Kindergarten.
Poston said, “No one could beat her teaching English grammar or handwriting. Most families wanted to put their children in her room because of her success in teaching reading.”
In Mrs. Ruby’s obituary, it was written that she attended school from age four, when her sister, Katherine started to school. The teachers said, “Just let her stay. She’ll get tired of it and go back home soon enough.” To everyone’s surprise, she stayed with it and graduated high school at age 16 in 1947. She attended one year of college, then started teaching school in Campbell County Schools, at Valley View Elementary School, at the age of 17, where she taught for her entire 63-year career.
“She truly was born to teach and stayed at it for basically the entirety of her live,” said Poston. He added that, “We shared in our retirement party in 2015. VVES gave each of us a rocking chair.”
When Mrs. Ruby retired in 2015, she retired with the longest education service record in the state of Tennessee. Ruby Virginia Claiborne Childress was 89-years- old. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/17/2020-6AM)