B-CC High School English Teacher Missing
Police say woman was reported missing Monday after not reporting to work
Deborah Anne Celmer
Photo courtesy of the Montgomery County Police Department
A Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School English teacher was reported missing this week after not reporting for work.
Deborah Anne Celmer, 41, was last seen at approximately 11 p.m. on Saturday, and she was reported missing on Monday after not showing up to work for “several days,” according to a news release from the Montgomery County Police Department.
Celmer, of Rockville, is described as an Asian woman about 5 feet, 3 inches tall. She has black hair and brown eyes and weighs approximately 150 pounds, according to police.
Police said Celmer may be operating a blue 2003 Toyota Camry with Maryland tags: 9CN5716.
Anyone with information about her was asked to call the Montgomery County police 24-hour nonemergency number at 301-279-8000. Callers may remain anonymous.
An MCPS spokesman said Thursday afternoon that Celmer has been employed with MCPS and worked at B-CC since 2016.
In a message to B-CC community members on Wednesday morning, B-CC Acting Principal Shelton Mooney said school staff members have been in contact with the police department and Celmer’s family “to express our concern and provide any possible assistance in locating her.”
Mooney said in the message there was no additional information about Celmer’s disappearance to release, aside from the message police released.
Mooney wrote that additional counseling services are available for staff, students and community members.
“We are very concerned about Ms. Celmer and are hopeful that this situation will have a positive outcome,” Mooney wrote.
Maissa Kobele Keita, a B-CC senior, wrote in an email Wednesday night that she was worried about Celmer’s safety and has cried several times since learning of her disappearance.
Keita has not had Celmer as a teacher, but has known her for four years through school-sponsored clubs like the Minority Scholars Program and the Girl Up Club, both designed to empower minority and female students.
Keita called Celmer an “ally for the minority community.”
“She really cares about us, the students,” Keita wrote in an email. “She always tries to encourage us to be better, and uplift us when we are down. She always tells us when there are new opportunities. Every time there is an opportunity available, she emails all the students she knows that would be interested in it. I appreciate her so much for doing this.”
Keita, co-manager of B-CC’s student newspaper’s website, The Tattler, said she and other students are writing a letter to post on the paper’s website to raise awareness of Celmer’s disappearance. The web page would allow other students to comment with their thoughts and anecdotes, as well.
The best-case scenario, Keita said, is that Celmer returns home safely before homecoming on Friday.
“Ms. Celmer is one of the most amazing people I know. She is always there for her students,” Keita wrote. “She often says we are kids, well she is our mom at school. I sincerely pray nothing bad happens to her, and she would be back this week.”
“We hope that, by doing this, students will have the opportunity to express their sentiments about this concerning case,” Josh Garner, a B-CC senior and editor in chief of The Tattler, said about the online webpage. “We also want Ms. Celmer to know that she was very missed and appreciated when she returns.”