CARTHAGE, Mo. — Say the name “Laurel Rosenthal” in and around Carthage, and, odds are, folks will know exactly who you’re talking about.

In fact, odds are she influenced a lot of them or their kids — or their grandkids.

A retirement party was held this morning for the longtime educator. 55-years she’s spent at Mark Twain Elementary. She started as a kindergarten teacher in 1967. She’s been the school’s principal since 1988. She will retire after this school year.

The Missouri Retired Teachers Association hosted this morning’s celebration at the First Church of the Nazarene. It’s also setting up a scholarship in her name.

“Well I’m just overwhelmed at everybody’s kindness. And as I say all these wonderful things that are happening to me, really I just represent my school, Mark Twain. My teachers, all of its staff, the parents and the students, they’ve all helped me along this journey, and its been a great journey, 55 years, 21 as a teacher and 34 as principal, and I love Mark Twain, I love Carthage R-9 and it’s just been a privilege for me to be here,” said Laurel Rosenthal, retired teacher and principal.

The City plans to have an entire day in honor of Rosenthal sometime soon.

As for her retirement years, Ms. Rosenthal says she plans to travel.