Stacy Sanchez had a vision of turning a courtyard outside the Wylie High School art room into a beautiful space where art students could sit and create.
She made that vision came true, and during a brief ceremony at the end of the school year in May, a crowd gathered to watch as the courtyard was dedicated to Sanchez, complete with a sculpture, bench and plaque in her honor.
“This is her baby,” said fellow teacher Alexis Hughes. “That was her vision. It’s an amazing space for the kids.”
Sanchez was the primary art teacher at Wylie and was beloved by her students and coworkers. She was diagnosed with cancer last summer and passed away in September.
“Stacy wasn’t just a teacher,” said Wylie High Principal Tim Smith. “Stacy was one of the most motivating people to be around. She was definitely high energy. She loved what she did. She lived for what she did. She loved art, and she loved what it did in the lives of her students. She had a passion for it.”
Hughes said Sanchez saw the potential in the courtyard and applied for a grant from the Wylie Bulldogs Education Foundation to decorate and buy furniture. Now, just around the corner sits a memorial to her – a blue bench, a sculpture and plaque in her memory.
“This bench was in her room,” Hughes said. “This past summer when she got sick, she asked if we would paint it blue.”
The sculpture, created by Erin Weygandt, depicts a paint brush painting a cancer ribbon.
After Smith unveiled the sculpture, Hughes and fellow teachers Pam Mauldin and Reagan Berry talked about Sanchez’ impact on the school and her love for art, the rock band Kiss and roller derby. Stacy’s family and friends were in the audience for the dedication.
“She was so cool,” Mauldin said. “She loved being a Wylie Bulldog. She lived each day as if it were her last. She got a lot of life into her 34 years.”
Berry said that what struck her about Stacy was how authentic she was.
“She was a bountiful teacher, friend coworker and rock star,” Berry said. “She carried herself with confidence and grace. She made each of us feel like we could be with someone as cool as she was. She was so special to each of us. We know this will be a special place for many students in the years to come.”