DUBLIN, Ga. — Laurens County and Dublin City School leaders got together Wednesday to honor retired educators like Mildred Lord and Lillie Hobbs.

"I taught in the Dublin School system from 1964 to 1988," Lord said.

"1971 was my first teaching job. I graduated from Savannah State in '71 and I started teaching that fall," Hobbs said.

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As a teenager, Lord's career began in Bleckley County in the same classroom she was in as a fifth grade student.

"It was during World War II, so they needed teachers, so I guess they decided to use what they could get, but I was almost 18," Lord said.

She taught through historical moments in the South.

"I had all white students in my schools and until the '70s, when we completely integrated with the other black schools, and I enjoyed it all," Lord said.

Hobbs began her teaching career during that time, and though a lot has changed since, she says the qualities of a good teacher are the same.

"You have to be understanding, you have to be patient, and you have to give the benefit of the doubt and realize that a lot of children come into the classroom with a lot of baggage," Hobbs said.

Both agree the world could not function without teachers.

"If not for teachers, where would they be?" Hobbs said.

"What would everybody know if we didn't have teachers? Even lawyers, doctors have had teachers, they are an important part of our lives," Lord said.

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Lord is 94 years old and spent 37 years as an educator.

Hobbs is 70, and now that she's retired she still spends time volunteering with Laurens County Schools.

About 80 retired educators came to the ceremony.