Meredith College mourns the loss of Elizabeth Grimes Droessler, who served on the education faculty as part of her long career in arts education. Droessler passed away on May 4, 2022.
Meredith College shares condolences with her colleagues and her friends and family, including her husband, Chris, who is a member of the Meredith Events staff.
Droessler started teaching at Meredith in 2010 and continued teaching through this spring 2022 semester. Droessler taught social studies methods and arts integration for elementary teachers and in the Curriculum and Instructional Specialist program.
“Liz was a teacher and coach of the highest caliber. She modeled what she taught, and she stayed connected to the reality of the field, working with teachers and embedding herself in schools,” said Associate Professor of Education Heather Bower, head of Meredith’s Department of Education. “Her feedback was always specific, actionable, and positive. As a colleague, she was supportive, thoughtful, and engaged. Her insightful analysis of data helped improve our programs.”
Bower said above all, Droessler was an artist.
“She practiced her craft in the theatre and inspired all of us – students and faculty – with her passion and dedication. Her smile and laughter were contagious, and her positive energy transformed any room. She was a force and a light, and we know our students and our faculty will carry that light forward.”
Professor of Education Jennifer Olson spoke of Droessler’s willingness to “teach anything asked of her” and of her ability to build strong relationships with students.
“She built lasting relationships with the students and mentored them beyond the campus, into their classrooms and schools. Her involvement in our summer programs for young girls (integrating the arts with science and math) through teaching our graduate students (in a methods course for social studies and the arts), has transformed the way we teach and support our teacher candidates,” Olson said. “We truly value everything she has done, even driving the Meredith bus to pick up students who attended our summer camps. Her dedication to providing arts experiences to all ages through education is extraordinary.”
In addition to her service to Meredith College, Droessler served as Wake County Public Schools’ senior administrator for the arts for more than 30 years.
Droessler’s impact will be long-lasting, as shown by a tribute that Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, who met Droessler as a student in Wake County, posted on her Instagram account.
DeBose wrote about appearing in an all-county production of the musical AIDA: “A program that Liz championed and fought for, a program that made me realize I wanted to pursue theatre as a life and career. We went on to do Les Miz and A Chorus Line during my high school years. I met Broadway vets that have become family, made life-long friendships, I’ve gone on to have a career in theatre and so much more….. and it started with Liz.”
Droessler held a Bachelor of Science in dance education and a master’s degree in theatre from UNC-Greensboro and an Ed.D. from Walden University.