In Memory

Jim Asher

Jim Asher

English teacher Mr James Asher passed away June 1, 2017 after a brief illness. Mr Asher spent 17 years (2000-2017) on campus as an English teacher during the school year, a computer instructor during the summer, and a tennis coach for both the girls' and boys' teams during their seasons.

He was beloved by students and staff alike. His friendly voice and the way that he cared for the school will be among his legacies. Mr Asher was well-known to build his classes around his students' needs and interests. He was compassionate and welcoming, with a heart for teaching. He will be dearly missed by his students, colleagues, and family.

The Tiger, June 2, 2017


James (Jim) Asher, 60, of Altadena, passed away unexpectedly on June 1, 2017. Mr Asher was born in Monroe, Michigan on September 28, 1956 to Cecil and Catherine Asher. He graduated from Monroe High School in 1974, received a Bachelor's degree in Education from Ohio University and a Master's degree in computer technology from California State University.

Prior to teaching, Mr Asher worked as a tennis pro at Bloomfield Hills and Rochester Hills Racquet Clubs and, in the 1980s, relocated to West Los Angeles where he became involved in real estate development. Discovering his passion for teaching, Mr Asher taught for nine years in the Yucca Valley School District and enjoyed the last 17 years affecting young lives at South Pasadena High School.

While at SPHS, Mr Asher served as English Department chair, taught AP Literature and classes in English Language Development. He was instrumental in the development of hybrid on-line classes and created a technology program to assist ESL students with assimilation into English education. Mr Asher wrote and directed several musicals for the school and delighted in every opportunity to involve his students by putting their poems and words to music. Throughout his teaching career, Mr Asher earned numerous honors and awards; however, his most cherished was 'teacher of the year' at both districts.

Mr Asher was affectionately described by co-workers as "a true Renaissance Man, an intellectual, cultured, knowledgeable, and proficient at anything to which he set his mind."  He was was recounted as a brilliant, imaginative, innovative and, most importantly, kind teacher who inspired his students to think, to venture out, to stretch their wings and always put forth their best effort. To fellow teachers he was a mentor, an innovative leader and a friend.

As an accomplished athlete, Mr Asher won numerous tennis tournaments throughout his high school years in Monroe, in college, and during his adult life. As coach of girls' and boys' tennis, Mr Asher, and his players, achieved numerous local and state victories.  Although he dearly loved his students and tennis, Mr Asher's pride and joy was his music. It was his passion. He was an extremely gifted composer and pianist, publishing numerous songs and recently completing his third musical.

Mr Asher is survived by sisters, Jenny Asher-Merline of Ft Myers, Florida, and Sherry Asher-Hochradel of Houston, Texas, brother Greg Asher of Palm Springs, California, and several nieces and nephews. 

Monroe News, June 13, 2017