The Stagg family honored one of its own Saturday, standing together as the funeral procession of a beloved teacher wound past the school.
Mary Ogarek, 33, died Wednesday, April 9 after an illness. Students and staff are devastated by the loss of the beloved English teacher.
"Being a teacher was who she was," said Principal Eric Olsen. "It was her person."
The Stagg community gathered around the school's entryway Saturday, as Ogarek's funeral procession passed the school. They cheered, released balloons, and lined the driveway to show their love for her.
Olsen describes Ogarek as "the brightest, most passionate, most inspirational" faculty member he has worked with. Her impact on students can never be quantified, he said. Her passion for the written word sparked a love of reading in her classes. Students sought her guidance, before and after their time at the school—many returning to visit after their graduation.
"She was one of those people who was central to the school," Olsen said. "All of our hearts are broken over here."