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Bay Port High School teacher dies after being diagnosed with COVID-19

We’re told this was her 16th year with the school district.
Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 3:18 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2020 at 11:28 PM CDT
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HOWARD, Wis. (WBAY) - A Bay Port High School teacher diagnosed with COVID-19 died Thursday, the Howard-Suamico superintendent told families and staff members in a letter Thursday.

Superintendent Damian LaCroix says Heidi Hussli died after “a brief hospitalization related to COVID-19.”

We’re told this was her 16th year with the school district.

A crisis team is coordinating support for students and fellow staff members. Counselors will be at Bay Port High School on Friday. In-person and online classes at Bay Port will be canceled Monday and Tuesday, but the school will be open for anyone looking for support. Lessons will resume next Wednesday.

LaCroix shared a message from the teacher’s family: “Our family is grateful for the support of Heidi’s friends and colleagues at school. We are devastated by her loss and we respectfully request privacy as we grieve and reflect. We are deeply grateful to the staff at St. Mary’s Hospital for their professionalism and care. Heidi is at peace now.”

The superintendent added, “This news is heart-wrenching to all of us who have known Heidi. Her positivity and passion for her students and her craft left a lasting mark on our school community .... Please keep Heidi’s family in your thoughts and prayers as we join together to support one another and her family during this difficult time.”

A dashboard published on the Howard-Suamico School District website reported as of noon Thursday, two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus and 30 staff members are in quarantine. Ten students in the district tested positive, including 8 at Bay Port, and 130 students are in quarantine.

A former student of Hussli’s tells us, while she didn’t spend much time with her German teacher, she made an impact.

“She always did things that would bring a lot of fun to the room, would always made you feel really comfortable being in her room. So, all of my memories of her are just always having fun and feeling really comfortable with her,” said Shawna Keating.

A German professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay says he met Hussli when she was studying in the German program at UWGB. Professor David Coury says Hussli was very passionate about the German language and teaching it to her students.

Coury said he’s worked with Hussli on many learning opportunities with students at Bay Port High School and UW-Green Bay, and Hussli’s talents as a teacher reached students far beyond the Green Bay area.

“She also took students over seas to Germany to Homburg, a city she really loved a lot as well, and set up programs so that students from Homburg came to Bay Port as well. So, her impact not only reached here in the area but also in Germany with the students that they hosted there,” Coury said.

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