Yet Another Teacher
Suzanne (right) in her Coronado home
holds photos of her husband Paul.
Suzanne Gasser Shaler, 88, is yet another retired teacher who remembers Esther Painter Hagstrom. “I can envision the room where Esther taught art. It was right across the hall from Mr. Shoemaker’s room.” B. Shoemaker, nicknamed “Shoey,” taught mathematics for many years at Coronado High School.
Suzanne Gasser grew up in Idaho and earned her bachelor’s degree – in art of all subjects – from the University of Colorado. She joined Coronado High School as a physical education instructor in 1947. She met her husband, Paul Shaler, an English teacher there. Besides teaching, they both served as counselors and advisors to Coronado High School’s Tri-Y clubs.
Paul and Suzanne got married in 1949. "I remember that Paul was very fond of Esther. We socialized a little bit. She was fun and very different."
(These photographs to the left appear in Coronado High School's 1951 yearbook. The annual, called The Beachcomber, was dedicated to Esther Painter Hagstrom. She died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage in January 1951.)
Suzanne “retired” from Coronado High School in 1957 to concentrate on her family – specifically to raise two sons. Paul continued teaching English and retired from the high school after roughly 30 years. Suzanne, who is multi-talented in writing, art and music, later taught adult education classes in Coronado on a part-time basis. She retired “for good” in 1989.
Paul died in 2003. Suzanne lives in their Coronado home, where she writes poetry. Using the computer her sons obtained for her, Suzanne illustrates her compositions with clip art.
(The photograph below, from Coronado High School's 1948 yearbook, shows Suzanne Gasser standing next to Esther Painter Hagstrom. Notice that the text at the top of the faculty page describes Mrs. Hagstrom as "distinguished" and Miss Gasser as "our freckle-faced adorable!")