MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – This week’s Excellent Educator left a lasting impression on her students. So much so, that they’re still talking about her 30 years after graduating.

It’s been a long time since Mrs. Geniveve Prochnow has been in the classroom, but the legacy she left is what makes her this week’s Excellent Educator.

When Prochnow’s formers students, fellow teachers and friends heard she was this week’s Excellent Educator they packed into her Lakeville assisted living home to celebrate.

“I just love her so much,” Lisa Enggren, a former student, said.

Decades have passed since the 93 year-old taught at Lakeville High School. Back then there was just one school, no north or south.

“I had a home economics teacher that I really liked and I wanted to be like her,” Prochnow said.

Prochnow went on to teach home economics too, during a time when gender roles were transforming. In 1969 the first boys walked into her girls only home economics class.

“The first boy I had walked in. He had boots on with clips or something and a leather jacket and I thought, “Oh God, what am I getting in to!” And he turned out to be one of the neatest kids,” she said.

She surprised her students too. Little did they know they’d remember her all these years later.

“She really liked the kids and it showed. And she understood them and she went above and beyond teaching. And she cared about you more than just a student,” said Enggren. “If you were having a problem she would come up and ask you separately.”

“I just tried to be myself and I liked working with kids,” said Prochnow. “That was the best thing I ever did was to teach school.”

Kim Johnson

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