Remembering Mrs. Kohler

Remembering Mrs. Kohler

(Written by Mrs. Emily Kenton, FVES Parent and Former PTA President)

The PTA joins the Flower Valley Elementary School community in mourning the loss of our beloved fourth-grade teacher, Mary Catherine Kohler, who died unexpectedly on December 26, 2019. Mrs. Kohler taught at FVES for a decade and made a difference in the lives of countless Fireflies.

Through reading and listening to tributes made by students, parents, and colleagues, it becomes clear that Mrs. Kohler brought many passions into her classroom. Her desire to spark a love for writing led her to send letters back and forth with students during summer breaks: if you wrote her, she told them, you would get a letter in response. Her commitment to develop her students’ writing skills kept her up working into the wee hours grading papers, and her determination to reach every child resulted in her expanding her classroom library to include books on topics that she knew were of special interest to her students.

Mrs. Kohler wasn’t just a supportive presence in the classroom, however. She was known to come to extracurricular activities in which her students were involved, including basketball games and swim meets. She wanted to know about YOU, asking questions out of a deep interest in knowing those around her.

It is no surprise that online tributes left after her passing repeat these themes: “warm and joyful, “kind and gentle,” “sweet and caring.” She made people “feel appreciated” and “knew that a ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work in the classroom.” What might have made her the most happy is that a former student wrote, “She made me want to love science, social studies, and writing.”

We were so fortunate to know her. She is already deeply missed.

Mrs. Melnick, as well as a team of staff members and Mrs. Kohler's family, are working together to plan how to best remember Mrs. Kohler. Mrs. Melnick will be back in touch with more information once decisions have been made.