Beloved Salem Spanish Teacher Passes Away After Battle With Cancer


Photo by Brenda Belanger

Mrs. Kalish smiling with her fellow Spanish teachers.

Joan Kalish, beloved Spanish teacher and Salem staff member, passed away on Feb. 9, 2019 in her battle with cancer. Late December 2018, Mrs. Kalish was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had to take a leave from teaching to begin and adjust to her treatments.

She went through this time surrounded by family and loved ones.

According to Kim Villarosa, Salem principal, in a letter to families, “Mrs. Kalish started her leave from teaching last month to seek treatment for cancer with a very positive attitude, a great concern for her students and the hope that she would return to school as soon as possible. Mrs. Kalish truly expected to return to school to continue sharing her love for Spanish with her students. She loved teaching and every one of her students.”

Salem administrators and counselors are offering support to any student that feels they need it in the counseling and general offices.

There will be a visitation at Schrader-Howell Funeral Home on Sunday, Feb. 17 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Monday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church. Students of Mrs. Kalish and their families are welcome to attend either.

A Go-Fund-Me page has been made to support the Kalish family through this difficult time. The page can be found at:

Photo by Cora Wallen
Mrs. Kalish’s door decorated by her students after her passing.

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