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35 years teaching DC kids

June 16, 2008

Even after retiring, Molly Ahlbrecht and Frank Johnson continue to teach

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

In 1973, two new teachers taught their first year of school at Dassel-Cokato. They liked it so much this was where they remained for 35 years.

Molly Ahlbrecht and Frank Johnson both enjoyed teaching in the DC School District so much that even after their recent retirements, they will be returning as substitute teachers next year.

“I don’t want to give it up entirely,” Ahlbrecht said.

Ahlbrecht earned a degree in French and English, which she taught until the new middle school opened in 1990. There, she taught a reading lab, as well as English and French at the high school.

Between 1985 and 1987, Howard Lake and Dassel-Cokato shared foreign language teachers and Ahlbrecht taught French in Howard Lake.

In 1994, Ahlbrecht had to make a decision between the two schools. She chose to continue teaching English and French at the high school until the 2004 levy was defeated and French was discontinued.

From that point on, Ahlbrecht taught seventh and eighth grade reading lab.

“Molly consistently demonstrated a caring, positive attitude toward everyone. She was a professional in every way,” said Jeff Powers, DC Schools superintendent.

When asked, Ahlbrecht couldn’t think of any particular memory that stood out the most – she enjoyed every day.

“The day-to-day was so wonderful,” she said, recalling her students being funny, intelligent, and interesting.

Also during her time at DC, Ahlbrecht was a coach for the speech team for 10 years and assisted Susie Keskey coaching swimming.

“I had a pretty fun job,” Ahlbrecht said.

“I will certainly miss the people I worked with and the children I taught,” she said. “I laughed every day.”

Now that she’s retired, Ahlbrecht plans on working in her yard, which she enjoys doing, traveling, and visiting friends.

“I don’t know what God’s got next for me, but I’m ready, I guess,” she said.

Johnson began teaching fourth grade at Cokato Elementary and two years later, moved to sixth grade.

In 1991, he moved to fifth grade, where he finished his career.

Like Ahlbrecht, Johnson will miss working with the staff and kids.

“There are bunches of great kids in our area,” he said.

Not only has Johnson enjoyed working with the staff and students, but the administration as well. “I’ve been treated pretty well administratively.”

In his career, Johnson has coached sixth grade flag football, girls volleyball, girls basketball, and spent 30 years coaching junior varsity girls softball.

“Frank has touched the lives of many children through his dedicated, caring manner. He was always a calm, consistent member of the middle school team,” Powers said.

During his retirement, Johnson plans on staying around the area for the time being, substitute teaching, working on projects around the house, and playing a lot of golf.

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