1730401_profile_pic Born April 10, 1933. Died January 8, 2016

A Teacher Extraordinaire

Sarah Jane Godfrey Giles

“An Unforgettable Rich Life”

Destined for a Blessed Rich Life

On April 10, 1933 in Egypt, Texas, Mrs. Sarah Jane Godfrey Giles made her debut here on earth. Her parents, Iverson Godfrey, Sr. and Ollie Cash Godfrey had no idea what impact their baby girl would have on the multitude of lives she came in contact with. Even as a young child, she moved to the beat of her own drum. She was very outgoing and rarely met a stranger. Unforgettable she left lasting impressions on many and built life-long friendships with church members, co-workers, parents and students.

Prepared for a Committed Rich Life

Sarah was taught the importance of education and developed a passion for it at an early age. Sarah began her elementary education in Egypt, Texas.  The family moved to Texas City in 1947, where she continued her education at Booker T. Washington School for one year and completed her secondary education at Central High School in Galveston, Texas where she was Salutatorian of the Central High School – Class of 1950.  After graduation, she furthered her education at Samuel Huston College in Austin, Texas.  In 1952, the college merged and became Huston-Tillotson College and Sarah proudly became a 1954 honor graduate with a Major in Mathematics and a Minor in Chemistry.   She later received her Master’s Degree from Texas Southern University (Houston) and completed advanced studies at the University of Houston (Main Campus). She had the privilege of studying abroad in England and Scotland, where broadened her understanding and relationship with others across the world.


Equipped to Serve Others for a Respectful Rich Life

When the question was raised, “Who will teach our children?”  Sarah eagerly said, “I will.”  She began her teaching career in La Marque Independent School District in 1954.  This dedicated teaching career spanned over 40+ years in the LMISD; College of the Mainland and the University of Houston where she enjoyed training teachers to teach.  During her years of service in LMISD, she served as Math Teacher at Lincoln High School and La Marque High School and rendered services as Math Department Chairperson and Assistant Principal.  Because of her love for the students of La Marque she would return joyously to the classroom to assist the students whenever needed.  In addition, she stayed committed to her students by tutoring math in her home for over 35 years.  Remarkable over the years she positively influenced the lives of thousands of children whom she taught.  She firmly believed; a teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge and wisdom in the pupils. Mrs. Giles was a no nonsense teacher that believed every child could and would learn in her class. Stories are still being told of how Mrs. Giles would set you straight when you got out of line, for it did not matter if you were in her class or not. She will always be remembered for carrying a ruler to check the length of the young ladies skirts, or for being courageous to break up fights and boldly marching into the boys’ restroom to catch the boys that were smoking. Unforgettable, just as she was quick to discipline you if you were wrong she was even quicker to encourage, cajole, write a letter in support or even make a phone call to ensure your entrance into college often times using her own finances. Because of her dedication to education, she has been one teacher that has been honored by almost every class of La Marque ISD. Mrs. Giles will be remembered as a legend in her own right.


Devoted to A Rich Family Life

She united in marriage to the love of her life Lee Andrew Giles on December 24, 1954 in a family’s home in Texas City. The Giles’ were a unique couple, they always had a compassionate heart for the well-being of others, whether family or friends, it made no difference. Their home was a place of refuge, a recovery facility and most of all, a home of love. They worked diligently to provide for their two children.


Dedicated to A Rich Civic and Community Life

She was destined to be of service to others.  She was initiated into Alpha Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on January 10, 1952 at Samuel Huston College in Austin, Texas.  She remained faithful as a 60+ year lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for over 60 years and a charter member of the La Marque Alumnae Chapter.  She was also a 50+ year member of Lakeview Court #262 Heroines of Jericho – Prince Hall Affiliation.  She is also a member of National Council of Mathematics Teachers, Texas State Teachers Association, National Education Association, Texas City – La Marque Retired Educators Association, Life member of the NAACP Mainland Branch #6201.  Over the years, she has received numerous awards and honors for her service to her church, sorority, school district, community and the State of Texas.  Blessed to know her, her home was a haven of love for her family, extended family and friends.  The door was always open for you to come and visit and especially eat her world famous Sarah Giles gumbo.  During the Christmas season, it would be like a Winter Wonderland with all her decorations inside and out; and who can forget you were always welcome to sit and share her stories in her Coke Room.  She has been a blessing to so many people, never asking for anything in return.


Mrs. Giles was an amazing lady that impacted so many lives. I was so fortunate to have her as not only a math teacher but as a mentor and friend. She significantly impacted my life and helped me to strive for more. It never mattered to her where you came from, she commanded respect and always reached out to help, encourage and even kick you in gear when needed. She told it like it was which is what students really needed to hear. Her legacy lives on in so many of our lives. She was compassionate and strong willed – a rare combination you only see in a person God has chosen to be a change agent on earth.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. I have very fond memories of Mrs. Giles. She was a great math teacher, and she taught three generations of my family. I was a member of the first class which she taught at Lincoln. It was Algebra, and I was hooked on Math.


What an Amazing woman with a huge heart for teaching! Mrs. Giles never excepted failure from anyone, she made you believe in yourself, her life spoke volumes to so many of us, I’m forever GREATFUL for her getting behind me and pushing me to be the best me I could be. I love you mama Giles
Mrs Giles touched so many life with her powerful teaching, guidance and positive spirit. We grew up around the corner from the Giles she was always had a sweet spirit. There need to be more strong educators like her.
Mrs. Giles cared more than any other teacher I ever had. She could make you regret not doing your best (with a sense of humor), and would accept no excuses. She would be there for you into the evening on her own time – as much time as you needed to “get it.” I’ll never forget her. I’m so glad to have had her as a teacher.
Thank you for your help, leadership and keeping me on a better path while I made my way through school. Thank you for being there!
A Great Educator who cared. She did not mind putting us in our place but she helped us to get where we needed to go.
So wish their were more teachers like Ms. Giles in classrooms today. One of my favorites. Took no lip from anyone, told it like it was (including some of the best put downs/put-you-in-your-place comments I ever heard a teacher utter), made you do your work, actually taught you … and you still loved her … and thank you for impacting our lives well beyond some math lessons.

An image of her brick will be added as soon as it arrives at the Hall of Fame.

If you would like to add a quote about Mrs. Giles please contact us at hallfame@emporia.edu or call us at 620-341-5660 and ask for Jennifer.