The Wylie community is grieving the loss of Stacey Horton Sanchez, who died Saturday after a short battle with cancer.
Sanchez was a beloved art teacher at Wylie High School. She taught all levels of art students, from beginning to advanced, sponsored the high school art club and oversaw the regional VASE Art competition each year. Wylie hosted the regional event under her supervision.
Wylie High School Principal Tim Smith said “her love and passion for her subject matter and the kids” made her a great teacher.
“She truly loved art,” he said. “She was involved in art not just at school but all summer long. She never had a bad day. She had a contagious personality. It was a devastating blow.”
Sanchez also worked hard to get the artwork of Wylie students into the community, and under her direction, artwork from Wylie students was selected for display in the U.S. Capitol for four years in row. The Texas Art Association named her Senior Educator of the Year for 2018. Only one teacher in the state is chosen for the award each year.
Fellow teachers, former and current students and friends and family had rallied around her when they learned of her cancer diagnosis. In recent months, hundreds had participated in T-shirt drives and other fundraisers.
Sanchez was popular with her students and appreciated by many parents who saw the difference she made in their children’s lives.
“Mrs. Sanchez was one of my favorite teachers during my time in Abilene,” said former student Alex Bryant. “She always found creative projects, exciting art club trips and brought encouragement to all her students to express their best selves in art but also in life. Mrs. Sanchez also taught me persistence, have an open perspective and not let people take the fight out of you. I remember her upbeat personality, wit and sense of humor.”
Other students expressed similar sentiments. On Monday, the High School honored Sanchez with a moment of silence and a special reading.
“We’ve made counselors available for her Art 2, 3 and 4 classes,” Smith said. “Some of our teachers have been having a more difficult time than the kids.”
Stacy’s Visitation will be Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM in the Main Visitation Room at 502 Kent Ave in Tuscola, TX 79562.
The Funeral Service is Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 2:00 PM at Beltway Park Church located at 4009 Beltway S in Abilene, TX 79606.