Shira Ulmer, a sixth-grade math and history teacher at Crestview Preparatory Elementary School in La Cañada, hadn’t seen her class since November when she began undergoing surgeries and chemotherapy for breast cancer.
Her class received regular updates about Ulmer’s condition and there were hopes that she’d be in good enough condition to attend their graduation this year. Then, on the evening of April 23, Crestview Prep parents received an email from the school saying that Ulmer had died earlier that day at the age of 31, leaving behind her husband and 2-year old daughter.
“Even up until the end we were still hoping she'd bounce back and be able to join us, at least for graduation,” said Ryan Bache, Ulmer’s fellow sixth-grade English and science teacher at Crestview. “I, as a teacher and a friend, hoped she’d be back next year to teach again.”
More than half of Ulmer’s class and Crestview’s faculty altered their plans for Easter Sunday to attend her funeral, which was held the day after her death in accordance with Jewish custom.