2 Wenonah High School teachers die within a week

Local News

WENONAH, Ala. (WIAT) — Wenonah High School is mourning the loss of two teachers who died in the past week.

“They were part of the Wenonah family,” said Principal Willie Goldsmith. “They were peers, colleagues, friends. The students really did love them. They were excellent instructors. So it’s hurtful and it leaves a void. Even though I may replace them with other teachers, they can never be replaced.”

Juanita Harris died on May 11, according to BCS. Wenonah High School Principal Willie Goldsmith said she had left the school for an unknown surgery before her death. She taught family and consumer science at the school and had been at the school for the past 15 years.

“It was like– getting this shocking call,” said Goldsmith. “She went to the hospital because she wasn’t feeling well. Then she passed away.”

Willie Fells, a science teacher at the school for more than 20 years, died Monday. Goldsmith said Fells left the school saying he wasn’t feeling well prior to his death.

“He just passed away yesterday so they’re not really sure what happened… But he was sick,” said Goldsmith. “One thing I am sure of is I know it’s not COVID.”

“We are saddened by the recent passing of two educators at Wenonah High School,” a press release from Birmingham City Schools read.

A gravesite service for Fells will be held at noon Friday at Elmwood Cemetery. Harris’ funeral will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at South Elyton Baptist Church.

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