COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Friends and relatives from across the country are celebrating an influential Columbus teacher's 100th birthday.
Anna Debro is a retired math teacher who taught math at Carver High School for 17 years and worked 10 years at Columbus High School.
Debro was among the first black teachers to integrate the public school system in Columbus during desegregation.
Hundreds gathered to celebrate Debro's impact on the community at the Downtown Marriott Hotel, and honored her for her legacy as a lifelong educator.
"With her being here, she still has a purpose," said granddaughter Marcia Dore. "Seeing all these people here, knowing she's touched so many lives and apparently, she still has more lives to touch... I think that's a beautiful thing."
Congressman Sanford Bishop attended the party as a special guest.
The mayor's office in Columbus also stopped by to recognize Debro for her contributions to education in the Valley.
Debro was born Oct. 3, 1916, so her birthday will be Monday. However, she said she wanted everyone to be able to celebrate together.
She says her secret to living 100 years is "do unto others as you would have them do to you."