Westchase Teacher Mourned by Students, Faculty
Susan Mikolajczyk, the 2006 Hillsborough County teacher of the year, died unexpectedly in December.
The first day back at school was mixed with bittersweet feelings for some students and faculty at Westchase Elementary School on Monday.
The school observed a moment of silence for Susan Mikolajczyk, a beloved kindergarten teacher at the school who died in late December, according to The Tampa Tribune.
Mikolajczyk, 59, lived in Odessa.
Westchase Elementary Principal Scott Weaver and grief counselors talked with the 18 students in her class on Monday. The students also wrote what they remembered most about "Mrs. Mik," as she was fondly known.
"They just wrote little things about what they liked to do with her," classroom volunteer Sue Farnell told the Tribune. "They loved her and they missed her."
As many as 30 teachers spoke with grief counselors on Monday, the story said. The school will put together a notebook of the students' writings and give it to the family at a memorial service later this month. Parents will be notified as soon as a date for the ceremony is finalized, said school office staffer Edi Montesano.
"She was such a star in the community," Montesano told Patch.