Retiring Teacher Surprised at Lester Park Elementary

Anne Krafthefer was surprised with a quilt that was handmade by her students.

DULUTH, Minn. – Anne Krafthefer has taught for 37 years, and Wednesday her students gave back to their beloved fifth grade teacher who’s retiring.

Krafthefer was surprised with a quilt that was handmade by her students.

The surprise came at the end of the fifth grade celebration.

Each year, Krafthefer helps her students make quilts for themselves to take home, but Wednesday her students returned the favor, after she’s taught more than 1,200 students during her tenure.

“It’s delightful to have that relationship you realize that you spend an awful lot of hours over 900 hours with these children over a course  of a year. 06:45:03–06:45:06 You develop a relationship and that’s wonderful and it’s lifelong,” said Krafthefer after the celebration.

She says that she’s still in contact with students that she taught in fifth grade back in 1993.

One of her former student teachers who substitute taught for her this year organized the quilt in secret, and says Krafthefer keeps in contact because she just cares so much.

“She just connects with the kids. I think that’s the most important thing that I learned from her. I think anybody can probably teach a subject but you have to have the connection with the kids and I think she can really do that,” said Kris Kolenz, who student taught with Krafthefer.

Krafthefer does not plan to slow down in retirement.

She works on the state board that governs the teacher’s licensure and is committed to making teaching more inclusive.

“Our legislature this year just kept status quo for funding for resources and for policy for increasing teachers of color and I want to see that change,” said Krafthefer.

It’s not just the students who have learned a lot from her and she says she’s learned so much for them as well.

“You have the opportunity to help kids to be able to grow and change but they change you,” said Krafthefer.

It’s clear that after 37 years, she’s truly influenced so many students.

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