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Local education icon announces retirement after 55 years

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A mainstay of the Carthage School District says here days are numbered, retiring after more than half a century.

A mainstay of the Carthage School District says her days are numbered, retiring after more than half a century.

“I think everyone remembers Mrs. Rosenthal,” said Lana Griffiths, an Instructional Assistant at Carthage.

Decades after graduation, she still has fond memories.

“She’s an icon in Carthage 47 when you think of Mark Twain You think of Mrs. Rosenthal.”

It all dates back to 1967, when the then superintendent talked Laurel Rosenthal into a job as Mark Twain’s first kindergarten teacher.

“People complain about 24 and 25 and a class at 36 in the morning. 38 in the class afternoon, no bathrooms, no water, and it was great,” said Laurel Rosenthal.

She loved it and spent decades teaching 5 and 6 years old. Eventually she would go back to school and become principal – still at Mark Twain.

Her entire 55 years in education has been there and she knows she’ll miss the students, teachers and staff. Still, she won’t miss everything.

“I won’t miss the stress that the teachers have to go through today. There’s a lot of stress that goes along with the job. You know, it’s not their fault. It’s not our district’s fault. It’s just something that has come down the line that they have to do,” said Rosenthal.

She’s seen significant changes, like the growing use of computers, and some things that are timeless, like creating a school family. And that’s something she’s shared with countless students over the years.

“Thousands (laughs) people in town think I’ve had every kid in town, which is not true. We have, we have great other schools.”

“I just loved everything she did. I always knew when she was around, I knew her perfume smell, I knew everything about her,” said teacher Jessica Simpson.

Rosenthal will wrap up her career at the end of the school year.

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