LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Celebrating teachers in America is a new CBS special exploring our education system through the eyes, minds and hearts of its most essential resource: teachers.

And Friday morning, THV's Alyse Eady introduces us to an Arkansas educator who, for more than half a century, has dedicated her life to her young students.

Ms. Romanetha Terry, a kindergarten teacher at Perritt Primary in Arkadelphia, has learned a thing or two about kids in her years in the classroom. She says, "They're eager to listen. They want to over hear what others are saying and they like to repeat what others are saying."

And what she's saying to her young students like Braylon is sticking. He says, "She says good job to everyone. When she's proud of me that makes me happy."

Principal Callie Hunley praises Ms. Terry's ability to seamlessly merge old and new techniques. She says, "She's not stuck in her ways. She wants to do the newest and the latest for her children, she's very dedicated to them."

For 55 years, Ms. Terry has been enriching the lives of grade school students. Nearly 1,400 students have sat in her chairs and spent their school day with her.

From black and white to color, times have changed since her first day on the job in the fall of 1958. Terry says, "The parents were supportive. They made sure their children got to school, and if they're behavior wasn't right, they cooperated with us."

But now-a-days, Terry says, "It's a little different. And the kids seem to come to socialize. I'm from the old school. I tell them they come to learn."

You'll find this seasoned teacher modest despite her numerous awards and accolades. But she doesn't have to. Others are more than willing.

One student hopes Ms. Terry can stay forever, but she can't do that. She says, "I don't want to quit but arthritis wants me to quit. I've said that this will be my last year. But in my heart and in my mind, I'd like to continue."

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