Ann Boger left behind more than loving family, friends and fellow teachers when she died Sept. 6 after a long battle with cancer. She left an impression of strength and optimism and a lasting legacy with the Grass Valley School District.
Boger worked for the district for more than 30 years at Margaret G. Scotten Elementary School and Grass Valley Charter, which opened in 1993 with Boger’s help.
“She was actually one of three teachers in the Grass Valley School District, along with the superintendent and school board members, who wrote the charter for Grass Valley Charter School back in the early ’90s. She just felt it was important for families to have choices,” said Grass Valley Charter technology coordinator Cissy Murphy, who had known Boger for 27 years.
Murphy’s daughter was one of Boger’s students and her son married Boger’s daughter. Murphy also worked in the district with her for 20 years.
“She was an eternal optimist with eternal vision. She was a bit stoic and didn’t show her emotions much, and she had the highest tolerance to pain of anyone I’ve ever met,” Murphy said. “Through all her cancer treatments, she hardly ever missed a day of school. Teaching was that important to her.”
Grass Valley Charter Principal Brian Martinez said Boger was “one of the most caring people you ever would know.”
“She was kind of a quiet, strong type. She had been battling cancer for a long time, but you would just never know it if you met her,” he said. “She was a strong spirit and person and put her kids and classroom first before just about anything — except for her family.”
Boger spent many extra hours for her classroom to make the experiences meaningful, Martinez said.
“We’re an expeditionary learning school, so we go on adventures and classroom-related field work trips, and even though she was going through a serious medical situation, she was out there camping and doing night trips with kids,” he said.
Boger wanted to be a teacher from childhood, Murphy said. She would pretend to be a teacher and instruct her brothers.
Martinez affirmed Boger’s passion and commitment, saying that even in her last days, she was nominating students for different school awards.
“This was something that was more than a job for her. It was a life calling,” he said. “She was a teacher through and through. (She) will be sorely, sorely missed.”
Boger was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2007 and had to step away from teaching while undergoing initial treatment, Murphy said. Despite the treatment, she returned to school in the fall.
“She didn’t miss much school even then, and for the last couple of years, she would undergo treatment in the afternoon but work the rest of the day,” Murphy said.
Even shortly before her death, Boger continued to be an optimistic fighter, said Murphy, who was with her an hour before she died. “She opened her eyes when she heard my voice and rolled her head toward me,” Murphy said. “She was an amazing trooper and will be missed so much. She was an integral piece of Grass Valley Charter School, and her legacy of dedication to students will live on.”
Boger is survived by her husband, Orville Boger; daughters Brooke Murphy, Heidi Ludwick, Heather Ray and Brett Boger; her sons-in-law, Ben Murphy and Seth Ludwick; and grandchildren Whitney, Tyler and Cody Murphy.
A memorial service for Boger will take place 5 p.m. Sunday at Diamond Arrow Christian Conference Center at 15742 N. Bloomfield Road, Nevada City, with a reception immediately following.
Memorial contributions can be made to Diamond Arrow Christian Conference Center.
For information, contact Diamond Arrow Christian Conference Center at 530-265-3295
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.
“This was something that was more than a job for her. It was a life calling. She was a teacher through and through.”
Grass Valley Charter principal