limaMonica Lynnette Berger, 28, died at 4:15 a.m. Feb. 11, 2011, at St. Rita’s Medical Center, surrounded by her loving family.She was born Feb. 15, 1982, in Lima to Linda and David Berger, who survive.Ms. Berger was a 2000 graduate of Lima Senior High School. There, she achieved academic excellence. She participated in cheerleading, swimming and shot-put. She was also a member of the Concert Choir and Scarlet & Gray ensembles. She was a 2004 graduate of Ohio University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education and was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority. In 2010, she earned her Master of Arts degree in reading education from Marymount College. She graduated with summa cum laude honors from both programs.She began her teaching career in Durham, N.C., where she taught fourth grade in an English as a second language classroom. Since 2005, she had taught first grade and kindergarten at Shawnee Elmwood Elementary School. In 2007, she was selected by her peers to receive the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.In October 2006, she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. Continuing to demonstrate her love of life following the diagnosis, Monica traveled abroad, purchased her own home, stayed in close contact with friends and taught her adored students up until the beginning of December 2010.Survivors also include her siblings, Karmin (Andrew) Holzaepfel, Jennifer (Brian) McLaughlin and Michael Berger; niece and nephew, Nina and Jayden Holzaepfel; grandparents Barbara and Raymond Musto and Pauline Berger; her beloved pup, Smokey; and many dear aunts, uncles and cousins.She was preceded in death by her grandfather, Joseph Berger Jr.; her uncle, Bob Musto; and her godmother, Anne Miller.A Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday St. John Catholic Church. Father Norbert Howe will officiate.Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home.Memorial contributions may be made to the Monica Berger Teacher Education Scholarship Fund for graduates of Lima Senior High School and Shawnee High School via the Lima Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1086, Lima, OH 45802.