Dorothy Lillard began teaching in the Kansas City public schools at the age of 18. When she retired 50 years later, she had traveled the world, taught school in four countries, and become something of a Kansas City legend. Lillard began her teaching career in 1927. Her first assignment was with a first-grade class at the W. W. Yates Elementary School at 13th and Lydia streets. She quickly earned a reputation as an exacting instructor, a stickler for excellence, and a teacher who insisted that parents take responsibility for raising their children. As a result, she made a lifelong impression on generations of young Kansas Citians.