Marianne Casey Nolan, 88, of Huntingdon Valley, a beloved award-winning elementary school educator who was honored in 2003 as Philadelphia’s longest-serving public schoolteacher, died Wednesday, March 2, of toxic encephalopathy at Ann’s Choice senior living community in Warminster.

Dr. Nolan retired from the School District of Philadelphia in June 2003 after 49 years at Laura H. Carnell Elementary School in Oxford Circle, and her students, former students, their parents, and fellow staff members joined Paul Vallas, then the school district’s chief executive officer, and others in celebrating her career.

“I think her whole career and her whole life has been a celebration,” Vallas told The Inquirer on June 16, 2003, three days before Dr. Nolan’s final lesson plan was shared with her students. “Just think how many generations have been impacted by her service.”

Dr. Nolan was so revered by her students and others that, 19 years after her retirement, they flooded Carnell’s private Facebook page with old photos and poignant memories when they learned of her death. “She helped shape me in many ways, not only when I had her but years later,” one former student wrote. Another wrote: “She was the reason I wanted to go to school.”

With a collection of keys jangling on a chain around her neck, Dr. Nolan daily stressed reading and teamwork as the bonds that best connect a student to school. “If you learn to read and you learn to get along with people, I think you’ll make it in this world,” she told the Daily News in 2003.

Late in her career, classrooms were often filled with children from all over the world, and she focused on those who spoke English as a second language. She embraced diversity, she said, because “it gives [children] a taste of the real world, and of each other’s world.”

“No kid was missing in action in her classroom,” former student Alan E. Liebowitz said in 2003. “If a kid was hurt or having a problem, she would feel it and find them.” Liebowitz went on to become the principal at Philadelphia’s George Washington High School.

Named Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year in 1982 and 1983 by the state’s Department of Education, Dr. Nolan won the 2003 Celebrate Literacy Award from both the Delaware Valley Reading Association and the Keystone State Reading Association. Earlier, she won the school district’s Rose Lindenbaum Improvement of Education Award, and Celebration of Excellence in Teaching Award.

She was a volunteer and active with many education organizations, notably serving as a local, national, and international leader with Alpha Delta Kappa, an international group for women educators. After her retirement from Carnell, she supervised student teachers at La Salle University for 10 years and was on the scholarship committee at Ann’s Choice.

Tina Weinraub attended Carnell, became a librarian, and later spent time with Dr. Nolan as members of Alpha Delta Kappa. “I wasn’t in her class, but she still remembered me from Carnell,” Weinraub said. “She was incredible.”

Born Sept. 12, 1933, in Philadelphia, Dr. Nolan graduated from Frankford High School when she was 16. An exceptional ballet dancer as a young woman, she earned a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate in the psychology of reading from Temple University.

She started at Carnell in 1954, married Nicholas Nolan, and they were together until he died in 1988. She survived two bouts with cancer and was close to her sister, Judith Casey Mannschreck, nieces Marianne Cullen and Suzanne Mannschreck, and goddaughters Veronica King and Julia Young.

“She layered in her teaching how to be a good human being,” Marianne Cullen said. “She modeled it, and she also taught it.”

In 2003, as Dr. Nolan was leaving Carnell, Vanessa Jean-Pierre, then 7, probably spoke for many of her classmates when she said: “I don’t want it to be summer yet because then I won’t see her anymore.”

A family visitation is to be from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 12, at the Parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel, 611 Knowles Ave., Southampton, Pa. 18966. A funeral Mass is to follow. Interment is private.

Donations in her name may be made to Alpha Delta Kappa, 1615 West 92nd St., Kansas City, Mo. 64114, and the International Medical Corps for Ukranian relief, 12400 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1500, Los Angeles, Calif. 90025.