Ruby Middleton Forsythe

The waiting list is long at the one room Holy Cross-Faith Memorial Episcopal School, where Ruby Middleton Forsythe teaches on Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. Ms. Ruby, as she is affectionately called, has been teaching school for over 65 years. Her school has 72 children, pre-school through fourth grade. She teaches discipline, respect, social responsibility, and the basics: reading, mathematics, spelling, and geography. Ms. Ruby’s students often enter school with an educational disadvantage. But, she instills in each of them that they can achieve. She insists that they never say, “I can’t,” but always, “I’ll Try.” Many of the pupils waif for miles to get to school. Parents and volunteers support the school by taking turns cleaning, gardening, and transporting the youth. Many of the graduates go on to colleges and universities and make major contributions to society. Ruby Middleton Forsythe was born on June 27, 1905, in Charleston. She attended Avery Institute for grammar and high school. Avery epitomized excellence and provided its students with the best liberal education and cultural experience. She received her BS from South Carolina State College and started her teaching career in 1924. Her husband, the late Reverend William Essex Forsythe, was an Episcopal Priest who was in charge of Holy Cross-Faith Memorial Church and School on Pawley’s Island. At age 85, Ruby Forsythe walks down the stairs from her living quarters above the school and begins another day of quality teaching and basic training. When she rings her brass school bell it is time for students to enter school and for the cultivation of each mind to commence. Ms. Ruby nurtures as well as teaches. She continues to teach because there is a need for children to learn. Her philosophy of teaching is: “I like the idea of sowing the best seed into whatever soil we come in contact with. Watch the growth and the reproduction of the product sent forth.”