At 91 years old, Scottsdale teacher still teaching students cursive

In an age when typing and texting are the main forms of communication, cursive has become almost a lost art.

However, 91-year-old Marilyn Harrer is back in the classroom, teaching students what she says is an important skill.

"Research has been done about the hand and the brain working together, and boys and girls learn to write faster. They remember more when they do it in cursive," said Harrer.

Harrer learned early on.

"It was the thing to do at that time," said Harrer. "When I went to Ohio State, I had to take a class of cursive handwriting, and since then, I've always taught it."

Harrer went on to teach cursive handwriting for seven decades, until she officially retired in the late 90s. Harrer, however, couldn't stay away from teaching for long.

"My husband always said you can't take the teacher out of me," said Harrer.

Nowadays, Harrer is at Anasazi Elementary School in Scottsdale, where she is working part-time with students.

"I've had anyone that couldn't do it -- I don't let them say I can't, and I expect good handwriting from the children, and they listen to me and they follow the directions. They are amazed at how successful they can be," said Harrer.

Many of Harrer's children have won awards. In fact, 35 of her students have won the state title in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest in the past decade.

"Tips are keep your back stiff, slant your paper, always try your best, always put your best effort into it and try to make the shape and size the right way," said nine-year-old McKenna Vick, who is the most recent winner.

Vick says she see more competitions in the future, thanks to two important people.

"The two teachers that have inspired me are Ms. Harrer and Ms Gavanay, so they always wanted me to do cursive, and I'm going to do it forever," said Vick.

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