"When I went into this work, I did this not for the recognition but to truly make a difference in the life of a child," she said.
PHILADELPHIA -- She was the woman of the hour, a Philadelphia teacher for the ages, and the inspiration behind the hit ABC show 'Abbott Elementary'.
Ms. Joyce Abbott is now also a member of the Overbrook High School Hall of Fame.
Abbott, a 1977 graduate, was celebrated by her alma mater on Tuesday.
"When I went into this work, I did this not for the recognition but to truly make a difference in the life of a child," Abbott said after the celebration.
'Abbott Elementary' creator and former student Quinta Brunson named the award-winning show for Abbott. Abbott's work as an educator for 27 years touched thousands of lives, including Brunson's.
On Tuesday, Abbott was officially honored by the School District of Philadelphia.
"While the show is fictional, the impact you had was very real," said Board of Education Vice President Mallory Fix-Lopez.
"I think you just represent the very best of public education in this country," said School District Superintendent Tony B. Watlington, Sr.
Abbott, who is a military veteran, was also presented with a state senate citation.
"Not everyone gets one of these. It has to be approved by the entire senate," said Pa. State Senator Vincent Hughes.
Meanwhile, 59th Street by Lancaster Avenue has now been renamed in Abbott's honor.
"59th Street will now always be known as Joyce Abbott Way," stated city council member Curtis Jones.
"It means so much. Who would have ever thought?" said Abbott.
We spoke to Ms. Abbott about what words of encouragement she had for teachers who are still in the classroom.
"Just know that every day that you're going in, even though every day might not be great, you are making a difference," she said. "You are making a difference."