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Ms. Shall finds strength, joy in students

Posted: 6:18 AM, Jun 02, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-02 06:18:38-04

A fourth grade teacher is winning her battle with cancer, finding strength and joy in her students.

Ms. Rochelle Shall knew she needed a change and as she went back to school to pursue her passion for teaching, it was a cancer diagnosis that only reaffirmed that being in a classroom was where she is meant to be.

“She was doing the business world and she goes ‘wait, this is not what I love to do’ and she realized that teaching was always her love,” Ms. Shall’s fiancé Cameron Copacia said.

That’s when Ms. Shall quit her job, heading back to school to begin the journey of one day having a classroom of her own.

“Rochelle was actually diagnosed with ovarian cancer four years ago now,” Copacia said.

That didn’t stop Ms. Shall from pressing forward, finding strength in unexpected places.

“It really just uplifted me and it really kept me going being in the schools while I was doing my program,” she said.  “While I was going through that I think it just kept my spirits up and my attitude positive.”

That positive attitude is evident at Emerson Elementary where fourth grader Addisyn aspires to be just like her teacher.

“(I’m) a little jealous because I can’t be like her – she’s amazing,” she said. “Ms. Shall’s very nice and sweet and if I was her, there’s nothing that could replace that.”

It’s the dream of making that kind of impact that got Ms. Shall through the toughest of times. 

She says her students are like her family and her classroom is their little home.

“Ms. Shall is an All Star because she’s extraordinary,” Addisyn said.  

Ms. Shall is now in remission and is getting married in July- congratulations!

We want to know who’s going above and beyond in your school.  To nominate someone for Ann Marie’s All Stars email annmarie.laflamme@wxyz.com.