WYNNEWOOD, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Across decades of Lower Merion School District yearbooks, the life and career of Lynne Partridge is documented in black and white.
"At the core of who I am, I've always been interested in equity and achievement, particularly for underrepresented groups," said Partridge, who is the assistant principal at Penn Wynne Elementary School.
For her, the path to equity starts in the classroom.
"I loved school, that was always at the heart of it. I loved learning," she said. "I always wanted to be an educator."
At the Lower Merion School District, she helped to create a committee to address race in education. It resulted in curriculum changes, training for staff, and as of last week a new school board policy on equity.
"It's really about celebrating diversity, developing empathy, and having equal access for everyone," she said.
This week, after 40 years in education, Partridge is retiring. She says she's proud of her accomplishments over the decades, but there's no better representation of her legacy than her students.
"It was comforting to be at school even with the pandemic going on," said fifth-grader Kianna Else.
The kids adore her so much they've managed to surprise her twice: once with decorating her door and twice with a flash mob during her last week.
"We were able to give the kids something to come together and have joy about in this year where we really had to look hard to find joy," she said.
If you ask the kids, however, despite a challenging year, finding joy was as easy as finding Partridge.
"She's made me happy when I'm sad. She made things better when things weren't going well," said fifth-grader Hannah Davis.