Sister William Jude has taught first grade for 52 years, many of them at St. Matthew School in Philadelphia, and this year, her former students decided to throw a big Christmas surprise party for the beloved educator.
While she was supervising a Christmas pageant rehearsal, students she taught 10, 20 and even 50 years ago slipped into her classroom and surprised her.
While Sister Jude didn't recognize every face, she certainly knew the names of her former students.
“It is more than a job. It really is your whole life,” she told Inside Edition of her decades-long teaching career.
One former student shared a photo of her late brother with the nun. When Sister Jude saw it, she said, "Of course I remember him. I have a card of him and I pray for him every single day."
When Sister Jude first started teaching, she had 85 students crammed into her classroom. While times have changed, her legacy still looms large for her students and fellow teachers.
Jean McKeever taught with Sister Jude for decades and told Inside Edition that she is "a benevolent dictator" but "it was always all about the kids."
"She is fabulous at what she does and I admire her to the end," McKeever added.