Local services set April 10 for beloved Wicomico teacher

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Bennett Middle School and Wicomico public schools are mourning last Monday’s passing of BMS Math teacher Mary Laurenzano.

Regarded as an extraordinary educator who tirelessly served her students, she died March 22, after a day of teaching.

Her students and their parents and guardians knew her as someone with a boundless commitment to students in the classroom, both for academics and character building, and in their community activities.

Her colleagues, friends and family knew her as someone who never failed to reach out, see how others were doing, and offer her help and support.

She had been a teacher at BMS since 2004. Colleagues said her impact goes well beyond Bennett Middle School, with lasting connections to her students, colleagues, and the community as a whole.

A funeral service will be held Monday, April 5, 2021, at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Bowie, Md. Additionally, on Saturday April 10, a memorial service celebrating her life will be held at 1 p.m. at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Salisbury.

The Revs. Peter Render from Providence Presbyterian and Mark Thompson from Emmanuel Wesleyan will be organizing the services

Laurenzano earned numerous accolades during her career. In 2018, she was a Wicomico County Teacher of the Year semifinalist and a year earlier was honored by WBOC-TV as a “Teacher Who Makes A Difference.”

“Every student is capable of being successful, but not all are traditional learners,” she said during her 2018 recognition.

“Many come from homes that don’t have the ability to support their child academically. Educational systems have to be creative in meeting the needs of every student, give equal opportunity for them to try different programs if they are being unsuccessful in a traditional environment. The community has to work together, put aside all of our differences and see the value in working together to help any child realize their potential.”

In the 2017 television profile, she said, “I’m thankful for the staff that I have, the peers that I have, because without them we’re not able to have good instruction. These guys make it fun, because it’s one big family and it’s all of the different personalities that make it great.”

Dozens of former students and parents took to Facebook to mourn the Math teacher’s passing.

One wrote: “I had her in 2008. She was one of the few teachers I knew who would help you with whatever you were having issues with. I never stopped thinking about her. … She made my least favorite subject enjoyable.”

A parent wrote: “Our whole family is mourning this devastating loss. She nurtured all three of my sons. All of her students are saying that they were her favorite. That’s the kind of teacher she was. She made every student feel special, encouraged them to do their best, challenged, teased and coaxed them to try and try again and she did all that with a great sense of humor, infinite patience and wisdom.”