Ann Arbor schools community mourns the death of a committed parent volunteer
As a constant presence in and around Ann Arbor's Logan Elementary School and Clague Middle School, parent Beth Trossen made an impact on many school officials and parents.
Scott Trossen said his wife was involved as a volunteer in Ann Arbor schools — she served as a classroom volunteer, an active member of the Clague and Logan Parent Teacher Support Organizations and would assist when needed in the schools’ offices.
Trossen said his wife wanted to help out the schools where her children attended.
“She was a small 'L' leader,” Scott Trossen said. “She didn’t go on field trips to run the field trip, she went to be on a bus and be a parent and talk to kids.”
Beth Trossen died last Wednesday, Dec. 29, at the age of 47 after being diagnosed with breast cancer just two weeks earlier. She leaves behind her husband of more than two decades and four children.
Beth Trossen served as treasurer of the Clague PTSO for the last three years, and her children attended Clague. Two of the Trossens’ children now attend Skyline High School and another daughter is current a sixth-grader at Clague. The Trossens’ son attends Logan.
Scott Trossen said his wife's desire to help in the classrooms began once their first child entered kindergarten. After moving to Ann Arbor a year later, she began helping out in classrooms, reading to children while teachers worked one-on-one with other students and assisting anyone who needed it, Scott Trossen said.
Clauge Principal Cynthia Leaman said Beth Trossen will be remembered as someone who worked hard for the community.
“Beth will be remembered as a tireless giving spirit to her community,” she said.
Leaman said Beth Trossen was often one of the parents who helped new Clauge families adjust to the school. Her husband echoed that sentiment, saying many people came up to him at Beth Trossen’s funeral service on Monday to say she was the first person who welcomed them to either Logan or Clague.
He said he'd been receiving calls since her death from families who moved to the Logan area from China and Japan, offering their condolences to the family.
Logan Elementary Principal Terra Webster said Beth Trossen was a delight to work with side-by-side and was always willing to help out.
“Beth’s volunteering extended beyond the classroom and PTSO — she would even assist in the office,” Webster said. “Where there was a need, Beth was there with her hand and heart extended, ready to help.”
It took the cancer diagnosis to finally slow Beth Trossen down, but it couldn’t stop her, Scott Trossen said. Despite passing off her duties as treasurer in the Clague PTSO and volunteer coordinator at Logan, she was working with her successors until her death.
“It wasn’t a strategy, it was just her life,” he said. “She was motivated by her heart and faith in Christ.”