Former SPMS teacher Paula Warner passes away

Story by Katharine Florence and Cloe Maurer
Staff Writers

Photo Courtesy of South Pasadena Middle School

South Pasadena Middle School teacher Paula Warner recently passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer in July. Students, faculty, and community members alike will remember Warner for her sarcastic yet endearing attitude and dedication to her students. 

The Earth Science teacher taught at the middle school for 30 years prior to her retirement at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. Many students recalled her to be a kind and nurturing teacher who created a fun, yet educational, classroom environment.

“Ms. Warner was my 6th-grade science teacher and I absolutely loved that class, not only because she taught well but because she truly cared about her students. She was dedicated as a teacher and a coach and that taught me to be dedicated to what I do,” sophomore Emily De Los Reyes said. 

Ms. Warner was a graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University, Loyola University Chicago, and the Art Institute of Chicago, performing as a dancer throughout her college career. She carried her love for the arts over into her teaching career, specifically as a club advisor to SPMS’s pep team, Tigerettes. 

“She spent extra hours building and painting sets, selling programs, making shirts… she truly did not get enough recognition for all she did for that program,” Emily Hoffman, a fellow middle school science teacher said. “She didn’t care because it wasn’t about that for her.” 

Warner was also involved in the middle school drama program as well as the annual Marengo talent show. 

“She was so dedicated and loved working with Marion [Tompkins] to create such wonderful shows for the community. They were an amazing team,” friend and South Pasadena parent Lisa Henderson said. “For years she said she would retire but every year the kids just brought her back. It was her life and her love (besides her adorable cats). She will be sadly missed.”

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