The retired longtime principal of Immaculate Conception Grade School in Elmhurst recently passed away due to failing health. Helen Kwasniewski began her tenure at Immaculate Conception Grade School in 1979. Having served as an educator in Catholic schools for the previous 22 years, “Mrs. K,” as she was fondly known, gave her entire life to the cause of Catholic education.
Under her leadership, the school established both an Annual Appeal Fund for education enhancement projects and an Endowment Fund. Several major environmental improvement projects, such as the relocation of the preschool, were accomplished during those years as well. But, what she was best known for was her uncanny ability to remember the names of every student who walked through the doors of ICGS.
Each morning, she would stand at the top of the entry staircase and greet each of the hundreds of students by name. When she would run into these former students later in life, she still remembered their names. Upon her retirement in 2001, when asked about what makes Catholic education different, Mrs. “K.” answered, “All of the decisions I make have their start in prayer. If I have a legacy for the children, it would be for them to pray, not just in times of trouble, but in times of joy.”