FARMINGTON — When business teacher Priscilla Conner retires Tuesday and walks out the door of Mt. Blue Campus, she won’t turn around.

“I will just have to go to my car and drive,” she said. “This is my family.”

The nearly 75-year-old Norridgewock woman has taught for 50 years at Mt. Blue High School/Foster Career and Technical Education Center.

After Conner graduated in 1964 from Husson College, she taught at Hampden Academy for one year. It was not what she expected, so she took a job as an administrative assistant at the University of Maine in Orono.

From there she was recruited to teach in Farmington, and she did after she checked out the college town.

“The students I have today are children of my former students,” she said.

In some cases, they are grandchildren of former students.

She has pretty much taught the gamut in business-related courses from typing on manual typewriters in the early days to teaching business law.

Conner has taught most of the tellers at the downtown Franklin Savings Bank, she said. 

When she was a student at Thornton Academy, only one teacher allowed her to take a business class, she said. You couldn’t do that back then, she said. 

“I always liked working with numbers,” she said.

It made sense to her to teach business-related classes. Everybody needs to know how to do their taxes, buy a house and do their personal finances, she said.

“What I teach is real. It’s necessary. I love it,” Conner said.

She plans to enjoy her summer this year. Normally she takes classes.

“I have places I can go,” she said. “I love to travel. I like to go to the theater. I am going to have time for me.”

“Am I going to miss school? I will miss it terribly,” she said. “This has been my passion.”

In addition to teaching, she has been the adviser for Future Business Leaders of America at the school for 46 years and has been involved in the Kennebec Valley Business Education League. She and her students have won awards through those organizations.

In her entire career at Mt. Blue, she said, there have been 10 principals and at least five superintendents.

Her favorite part of teaching is when a student finally understands what she is teaching.

Conner has never given a detention.

She believes in equity for students.

“It is my job to make them know they are valued,” she said. “My job is to teach them that education can open doors and that it is OK to have ideas, to dream.”

It truly has been a journey, she said.

“I have learned from them as much as they have learned from me,” she said.

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