‘Every night I pray for you,’ ACCS celebrates teacher’s 48 years of dedication by naming building after her

Published 6:30 am Sunday, April 24, 2022

NATCHEZ — Students smiled ear to ear as longtime Adams County Christian School kindergarten teacher Marilyn Gilbert drove up to campus on Wednesday afternoon.

They held up banners they made that said “Congrats!” and “We love Mrs. Gilbert” with a giant red heart. The signs were large enough for whole classes of students to hold onto and stretch out in front of the elementary school building.

Most if not all of them were her students during their earliest years at ACCS.

Email newsletter signup

Gilbert not only received a warm congratulations on her retirement from her 48 years of teaching. She received a special surprise, too.

Headmaster David King wrapped one arm around her shoulders and let her face the front of the elementary school building, where a plaque was uncovered that read: “This building is dedicated to Marilyn Gilbert. She dedicated her life to ACCS and its students for 48 years. Her love of the Lord was evident in her display of love and kindness in her teaching.”

This was placed next to a picture box that displayed old photographs and newspaper clippings featuring Gilbert and her past students around a sign that said the building’s new name, “The Marilyn Gilbert Kindergarten Building.” A table also held a photo album with more photographs from her years of teaching at ACCS.

The gesture brought happy tears to Gilbert’s eyes.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” she said. “I had no idea.”

The school also gifted Gilbert with a plaque to take home, thanking her for her decades of dedication to the school and to her students.

Students of all ages gathered around her to hug her and she hugged each of them.

Gilbert said there was one thing she wanted everyone to know before she leaves.

“Every Sunday night, I pray for you all,” she said. “All of the staff and all of the students because I know that God is going to continue to bless this school. The Christian effort that you all put forth every day is precious and every day and every night I pray that God will bless all of the teachers and guide you in helping all of these students reach their full potential because I know that God has a plan for you just like he had for me.”

Gilbert said when she first started working at ACCS in the 1970s, she had no idea what God had planned for her and through her years at ACCS, she was blessed.

“I had no idea God had this plan, so I know he’s going to continue to bless this school in the years to come,” she said.