Grace McWayne taught in Batavia schools for 59 years. She is and probably will always be the educator with the longest tenure of service to the children of Batavia. The late John Gustafson, the former Batavia historian, wrote, "It is very difficult to measure the influence of a single individual, but Batavians believe she is the first lady of their city. Each year she would meet children of factory workers, children of industrialists, children of the native-born, and children of the foreign-born, perhaps 50 of them at a time. Hers was a production line show whose output could never be evaluated by an inventory, for she shared with her pupils her gentleness, her wit, her human kindliness, her eternal youthfulness, her brilliance." She began her career in 1868 as an instructor in the primary grade and finally as principal in the building, that in her honor, was changed from Central School to the Grace McWayne School. Ellen McWayne, Grace's sister, also taught in Batavia for 40 years, making their years of service together in Batavia schools a single year short of a century. When the school was razed and the current school built, the new school was again dedicated to the McWayne sisters. According to Batavian Historian, Marilyn Robinson, "I believe that it is only fitting and proper that the new school on the west side continue to be dedicated and named the McWayne Elementary School.