FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Fayetteville Public School District says its goodbyes to Dr. John L Colbert as he retires from 47 years of service as an educator.

People all over the Northwest Arkansas community came out Thursday afternoon to attend his retirement celebration and to share kind words on how he made such an impact on the community and schools.

“The school system is really him. He embodies everything there is to have and to do,” J’onnelle Colbert-Diaz said.

Colbert’s daughter J’onnelle Colbert-Diaz says she’s came to share what it’s like growing up with an educator that doesn’t leave work at school.

“He had us rolling these big carts down the hallways delivering all the orders, and he’s talking about it’s good experience for you in the future that you know how to do these type of professional skill sets. And I have to admit, he was correct,” J’onnelle said.

J’onnelle says through all those tough lessons, she knows her father was coming from a place of love because he has a heart of gold.

“He is really dedicated to every single aspect of what it takes to make sure that the children have the best experiences they can have, and we can never, ever replace that,” J’onnelle said.

Colbert says the key words to his success that got him through the past 47 years is always doing what’s best for the children.

“Every student deserves an appropriate education, and you do what it takes to ensure that they reach that,” John L Colbert said.

Colbert says he hopes as a leader, educator, friend, and former superintendent that he is leaving a positive legacy behind for generations to come.

“The legacy I really hope to leave behind, I’m sure that other people are going to come behind me and carry on that little philosophy that I have always preached as a superintendent, you do what’s best for the kids. Always do that, and don’t lose that focus because that’s the reason why we’re here making a difference in the lives of the students,” Colbert said.