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Elsie Hayot was born in the City of Panama to parents who were also Panamanian. Her father worked for the Panama Canal Commission and her mother was a housewife. Elsie attended school taught in English and then later in Spanish as result of the changes in Canal leadership. She adjusted well to the changes, and recalls being taught at Teacher Reid School with fondness because she had wonderful teachers. Elsie was greatly inspired by her teachers as she grew up to be an educator herself. At a young age, her love of teaching began as she taught Sunday School. She went on to teach several generations of children and has so many great memories from teaching that she cannot choose a favorite. In addition to teaching, Elsie has been a wife and a mother. She has three children who have all been successful at school and in life.