ROSWELL, Ga. – Less than a year after being named the Teacher of the Year for the Northwest Learning Community, Mimosa Elementary teacher Michelle Wexler died at the age of 28. Her death from cancer Dec. 6 came just three weeks after the school system staff had gathered to pay tribute to all of Fulton’s top teachers and staff during the annual Legacy of Excellence gala.
Her principal remembers a young woman whose commitment to teaching was reflected in her students and celebrated by her community.
“Mimosa Elementary mourns the loss of one our wonderful teachers,” said Principal Lynn Johnson. “She was an innovative teacher who aspired to help her fellow teachers and educational community. Her spirit, her passion and dedication to Mimosa’s children and her humble personality will be greatly missed.”
Wexler was a second-grade teacher at Mimosa Elementary. She was a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in early childhood education and had recently completed her specialist degree at Kennesaw State University.
Although she had taught only for a few years, her achievements were recognized by her peers who voted her the Teacher of the Year for Mimosa Elementary, and by the school system which then named her the top teacher for the Northwest Learning Community.
Wexler’s motto of “all students can learn” was her personal vision and her guide for motivating her students in the classroom.
In an essay she wrote when being considered as one of Fulton’s top teachers, she said she never accepts excuses from students and instead guides them toward success.
“Teachers should set high expectations and include a plethora of academic rigor built into their lessons to continually challenge the students,” she wrote. “There is nothing more rewarding than watching students know they have achieved a short- or long-term goal.”
Those values she instilled still remain at Mimosa, said Johnson.
“Because of the professional development she had done with our staff and because she sparked a love for learning in her students, Michelle’s legacy will live forever at Mimosa,” said Johnson.
Wexler is survived by her parents, Eddie and Wanda Wexler of Marietta, brother, David Wexler of Marietta, grandmother, Margie Whitmore of Oxford, Ala., and many other friends and relatives.