All I really need to know I learned in Opelika


By Donna Pinyerd

I am gently reminded of Robert Fulghum’s poem “All I really Need To Know, I Learned in Kindergarten” when I think of how much I love and respect my hometown of Opelika.
Most of what I really need to know about how to live, what to do, and how to be, I learned from the “Greater Generation” here.
School teachers, principals, counselors, parents, community helpers and leaders took time to teach the younger generations about how to prepare our lives when we go into the world. The Opelika community has always realized that time spent with the younger generations spells love, care, and wisdom! Home is where the heart is, and this Opelika native has taken her Opelika teaching wherever I have lived.
I attended Auburn University where I earned my master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. My husband, the late Carl Pinyerd, and my son, Gus Pinyerd, moved from Opelika in 1987 to Mobile, where my husband’s job took us to live for 31 years. I have taught 34 years in early childhood classrooms in Opelika as well as Baldwin county.
Because of my love in teaching children, I wrote a column titled “Kids Corner” for the Gulf Coast News as well as Senior Spotlight. My editor was Cliff McCollum, another Opelika native and editor of The Opelika Observer. Again, Opelika gave me a love for newspaper writing when I wrote for “The Bulldog” newspaper for Opelika High School in 1971.
I want to thank the Opelika community, my hometown, for welcoming me back home. I want to serve the community by providing an educational column that shares events, lessons, and programs that are being held in different educational settings such as public schools, private schools, Christian schools, home schooling, etc.
It is also my hope this column will be an encouragement to parents to talk to their children and participate in age appropriate activities. There are many new ways in teaching students that we want to learn about!
The Opelika community has always had wonderful educators. I welcome your ideas, advice, and news. You can e-mail these to or call 334-749-8003.

Beth Jones Pinyerd


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