PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As many students in Philadelphia finished school Tuesday, today also marked the end of an era at one city high school. Dr. Parthenia Moore made her rounds one final time at the Philadelphia High School for Girls on Tuesday.

(credit: CBS3)

Dr. Moore relished each embrace with the students she refers to as her daughters.

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It’s the last day of school, not only for the students at the high school, but for Dr. Moore as well.

“I’m crying like a baby, I’m going to miss you all so much,” Dr. Moore said.

Her picture will soon join the portraits of the 18 principals before her at Girls’ High, which has graduates dating back to the mid-1800s, some women who have gone on to become famous scholars, musicians and politicians.

Dr. Moore has made it her mission to continue that legacy during her 40 years in education, with the last nine at Girls’ High.

“I have lived in this school, come in at 7 and leave at 10 at night, these girls are everything to me,” said Dr. Moore.

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Girls’ High is significant to Dr. Moore, not only because of the students she’s impacted here, but nearly five decades ago, she walked the school’s halls as a student herself.

After graduating high school in 1971, Dr. Moore went on to earn degrees from Penn State University, Saint Joseph’s University and earned her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

“What message do you want to leave with the girls?” asked CBS3’s Janelle Burrell.

”I want you to do better. I want you to have more. I want you to aspire to be any and everything you absolutely aspire to be in life,” Dr. Moore said.

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As the seniors get ready to graduate, Dr. Moore sees it as her second graduation from the school.

“The tears I cry are because I love these girls,” she said.

And her girls love her right back.

Janelle Burrell