SAN ANTONIO – A seventh-grade English-Language Arts teacher at Brooks Collegiate Academy has died after a battle with metastatic colon cancer, the school confirmed.
Susanne Martinez passed away on Saturday, March 18 while surrounded by her family. The academy said she battled the disease for two and a half years.
She began her career with Brooks Collegiate in fall 2018 and in addition to teaching English, Martinez also became the department’s chair, the academy said.
“She loved teaching and her students were the light of her life every moment she spent with them,” the academy said in a statement. “She was a mentor, advisor, and friend to many students, teachers and staff, especially to her intern, Coach Jude Hill, who joined her in the classroom in the fall of 2021.”
In January, KSAT chose Martinez as Educator of the Month and her colleagues described her as “always going above and beyond” for her students.
“It was one of the highlights of her final weeks as a teacher here at Somerset Academy Collegiate,” the academy said.
Martinez’s students and colleagues came together to create a poster for her, thanking her for her work on campus over the last five years, in addition to several other items.
The academy is encouraging students to wear pink on Wednesday in honor of Martinez and her fight against cancer.
“I had fun with her, I laughed with her, we talked about everything. I looked forward to going to her class,” one of her former students said.
There will also be a banner that students can sign to honor her memory.
Counselors will be made available to students on campus who need additional support, the academy said.
“We ask that you please keep her family – her husband, Joseph, and her children, Emily, Zach, and Jakob – in your thoughts throughout the next several days,” the academy said. “Coach Martinez, our Wonder Woman in and out of the classroom, you will be greatly missed.”
Funeral arrangements for Martinez are still pending at this time. We’ll bring more updates as they become available.
“If I can just be half the teacher she was, then I think I can get these kids where they need to be...to achieve beyond their ultimate opportunities,” said one of the Brooks Collegiate Academy Teachers said.