LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – While Monday was the first day for most students, it was also the last first day for a very special teacher.

Cloverdale Middle School Principal Wanda Ruffins certainly didn’t expect the reception she got Monday, but she certainly deserved it.

That’s because, after 42 years as an educator, Ruffins said she is going to retire at the end of the current school year.

“I’m gonna miss the face pace of the day. I’m gonna miss my parents, my students and my faculty,” Ruffins said. “They’ve become family.”

Ruffins was given a bouquet of flowers and a gift basket by Tipton and Hurst in honor of her decades of work.

Ruffins worked for the Pulaski County Special School District for 21 years and spent 15 years with the Little Rock School District.

Of her 41 years as an educator. She spent 37 of them as a principal.