At the beginning of January, Viroqua School District Physical Education and Health Teacher Judy Olson was awarded the Top Notch Teacher Award.

On November 21, 2009, Judy was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic and liver cancer. On Friday, Judy lost that battle.

Judy's students and colleagues described her as upbeat, always with a smile and always looking out for her students.

Schools will be dismissed this week for a visitation and funeral for Judy.

Viroqua Schools will dismiss early Tuesday for a visitation, which will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Viroqua Middle/High School gymnasium.

-Viroqua Elementary School will close at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday -Viroqua Middle/High School will close at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday -All after school activities will be canceled Tuesday

The Viroqua School District will be closed all day Wednesday for Judy's funeral, which will be held at 11:00 a.m. at Westby Coon Prairie Lutheran Church (500 South Main Street in Westby).

Previously Updated on January 4, 2010 January Top Notch Teacher

Reported by Mike Thompson Email:

Over the years, we've featured dozens of Top Notch Teachers from around the area on NewsChannel 8. Teachers that are making a big impact on the lives of their students. This month's recipient is no different in that respect, except she's teaching her students a lesson about the value of life through first-hand experience.

It's 8th period gym class at Viroqua Middle School and the energy is pumping', but while it seems like just another typical day, something is missing. Viroqua Health and Phy Ed Teacher Judy Olson says from her home, "it just seems like every time I look at the clock, oh I should be in period 2 or block 3 and this is what we should be doing."

For the past 28 years, Judy Olson has taught Phy Ed and Health at Viroqua Schools. Ironically, right now it's her health that's keeping her away from her passion. "It's all so new and it's just hard," says Judy.

On Nov. 21st, Judy received some unexpected news. She found out she has advanced pancreatic and liver cancer. Doctors say she may have just months to live. Judy says, "I'm not done teaching, I think there are just so many things yet that I think I can do or would like to do yet."