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Beloved teacher of 41 years receives ultimate send off

Friday - 8/15/2014, 12:23pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- To Mrs. Flexer, with Love? Nancy Flexer taught the first grade for 41 years and made quite an impact she discovered at her recent emotional and memorable retirement party.

When she opened the door to her Nashville classroom at Cole Elementary School near the end of her final school year this past spring, all those years of her career came to life ... literally.

The TODAY Show reports that with the help of Kid President, creative group Soul Pancake and Flexer's Tennessee school, her former students of all ages, dating back to the first class she taught in the 1973-74 school year were tracked down.

A video of the event shows an overwhelmed Flexer being moved to tears as she hears former students who are now adults tell her how much she affected their lives.

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Former students say it wasn't difficult to recall the kind notes that Flexer wrote on report cards and the numerous ways she helped them overcome their issues of shyness and awkwardness. Many also recalled how she inspired them to achieve future academic success, earn scholarships and advanced degrees.

Flexer hadn't seen some of the former students for decades yet she remembered the names of every single one there, TODAY reports.

A scrapbook of Flexer's career was presented to her along with some of her favorite candy as one student after another recalled the effect she had on his or her life.

Flexer grew up in Nashville and briefly worked at a bank before being hired at Cole Elementary School at the age of 21. She then spent her entire career there always teaching first graders with class sizes ranging from 18 to 27 children over the years. Flexer has even taught several generations of the same families, and has kept every class picture from her 41 years.

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