She is a teacher, who like a candle, lights the way for her students even at the age of 84.
For a woman that never birthed any biological kids, Doris Turner Hayes is the village that's raised hundreds of them.
"They call me momma. They call me grandma. They call me everything but Mrs. Hayes," says the teacher.
She began her teaching career in Northhampton County, Virginia when Doris Day topped the charts. Gas, was 39 cents and for the first time, popcorn was sold on a mass scale. That was 1948. Sixty four years later, you will still find her in the classroom, in Covington. It was this city that allowed a little black girl to finish her education at a time segregation was synonymous with the South.
Hayes was born and raised in Bath County, Virginia but wouldn't have been able to graduate high school there which is what brought her to Covington.
"Tenth grade was all I could've gotten so my mother decided I should come here and live with my cousin Lawrence and Lilly Mann and go to an accredited high school," says Hayes.
Today, her students are those who don't necessarily fit the traditional mold. They are students in alternative education programs. She also teaches GED courses to teens and adults.
"Some of the students can't afford to take the (GED) test and if you fail the test you have to pay again and so what she'll do is she'll go down and prepay," says Stephanie Clark, a councilwoman from the City of Covington and personal friend.
A lot has changed in the past six decades. Grading scales have gotten a bit tougher. Colored pencils have come into play and white boards have replaced black boards. What hasn't changed is this 84-year-old's dedication and determination to get her students to dig deep and pull out the best.
"You've got to be almost like the miner that goes out to pan for gold. You're not going to find that gold immediately but you've got to be willing to sift and sift and sift out the dirt. Sift out the grit and gravel and eventually you have nugget, you have a gold nugget," says Hayes.