97-year-old Lufkin resident helping students achieve dream

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - John Woodside starting tutoring students at the Adult Learning Center in Lufkin when he was 85.

"They needed somebody to teach math for GED's and I wanted to do something useful," Woodside said.

The distinguished alumni of Arkansas State University took on the tutoring job even though he  never taught a day in life.

That was 12 years ago, before the center moved to Angelina College. Now 97, Woodside finds time to fit it in to his busy schedule.

"I read, play bridge and fish," Woodside said. "I am also involved with my church."

Woodside works at the center two days a week to help adults prepare for their GED exam.

Those with the center find his work amazing.

"To take time and to give of himself; it's amazing," said Laura Bush, director of the center. "Volunteering is very important and the community needs that and there are some people who find their nitch and he has found his nitch and it's math."

Realizing their tutor's age was a shock for students with the program.

"I couldn't believe it when I found out," student Paula Sanders said.

The shock wore off and the students are grateful for Woodside's help.

"I don't think I could have done it without him," Sanders said. "It's like I have has a monkey on my back many years and he is trying to get that monkey off my back."

Woodside says that the students get an education out of the sessions and he gets something as well.

"It's very rewarding to see the student's face light up when they understand the problems they are trying to solve," Woodside said.

Woodside said that he doesn't plan on slowing down and that he plans on tutoring students until he is no longer able to.

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