The Dart: Mrs. P teaches multi generations

Published 12:39 am Monday, November 16, 2009

NATCHEZ — Cissy Pressgrove has been teaching since 1958. Except for a three-year break when she taught in Vidalia, Pressgrove has taught at Trinity Episcopal Day School since 1967, and when The Dart found her Thursday afternoon at her Merrill Street residence, she was gearing down from another day in the classroom.

The long-time educator only teaches part-time now — she also teaches a GED class at Copiah-Lincoln Community College — but she said that all these years later she still enjoys her job.

“I especially love teaching at Trinity because it’s smaller,” she said.

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But teaching in a small school in a small town means that Pressgrove has seen the cycle of life come full circle for her students.

“I am teaching children’s children,” she said. “One little girl I am teaching I taught her grandmother. The math teacher at Trinity — I taught her in the third grade.

“I have one boy — he looks so much like his father did — I keep calling him his fathers’ name.”

When she first started teaching, she was “Mrs. Pressgrove.” Somewhere along the way, however, she became “Mrs. P.”

“A little boy started calling me Mrs. P, and I couldn’t figure out why,” she said. “Then I realized that when I write my name, I write ‘P’ and then (draw) a line because Pressgrove is long — it takes half a page.

“So from then on, I was ‘Mrs. P.’”

Through the years, Pressgrove has taught Trinity’s third, fourth and fifth graders.

She changed grades to avoid having her son in her classroom, but other family members have made their way through her classroom.

“I had to teach all of my grandchildren, bless their souls,” she said.

Pressgrove currently teaches fifth grade social studies.