PALMDALE — Barrel Springs Elementary School’s school library was dedicated Friday in honor of kindergarten teacher Bernadette Liguori.
Barrel Springs’ library will be renamed the Liguori Library. The dedication ceremony coincided with the school’s Read Across America event, where 22 community volunteers, including Palmdale Sheriff’s Station deputies, read to children.
“We’re not only here for our celebration, we’re also here for a celebration of a life,” Barrel Springs Principal Kimberly Wright said.
Liguori died last March 14 at 53 after a sudden illness. She taught for 28 years in the Palmdale School District. She started at Tumbleweed Elementary School, taught at Los Amigos School briefly and then transferred to Barrel Springs Elementary. She worked at Barrel Springs’ temporary site before the permanent campus at Ponderosa Way and 37th Street East opened in 2005.
The celebration included student performances, and the unveiling of a mosaic portrait of Liguori by Liguori’s sister-in-law Jennifer Kuhns, a mosaic artist based in Washington state.
Liguori’s husband Carl Liguori, youngest son Anthony Liguori, mother-in-law Darlynn Liguori, brother-in-law Tony Liguori, and close family friends, neighbors and former and current PTA members who worked with Bernadette attended the ceremony. The Liguoris’ daughter, Michele Gassaway, lives in Texas and was unable to attend the ceremony. Their oldest son Adam Liguori lives in Victorville and also was not able to attend.
Carl had the portrait in his house for about six months. He hung it up around Christmastime. The Graphic Experience made the two-stage frame. Palmdale Trophy made the nameplate.
“I had it put up here because I feel that it is home. This was her home; you are all just everything to her,” Carl said.
Carl added after he lost Bernadette he did not lose the district, or the school.
“All of you are wonderful, wonderful people. … I feel that I have a family for the rest of my life,” Carl said.
A plaque near the entrance to the library features a picture of a smiling Bernadette in a blue blouse that was recreated for the mosaic portrait. The plaque’s inscription says: “In loving memory of one of our finest: Mrs. Liguori: Thank you for your dedication and service to the students, staff and PTA of Barrel Springs Elementary. Always loved, never forgotten and forever missed.”
“We will always remember her,” Wright said.
“On behalf of our PTA we want to honor our wonderful teacher, friend, wife, mother, to celebrate and remember our wonderful Bernadette Liguori,” said PTA member Lucia Kocher, who leads the group’s Ways and Means committee.
Kocher recalled she met Liguori in 2004 when Anthony Liguori was in the second grade.
“We love her; we miss her,” Kucher said. “All of us, we miss her. She was our right hand.”
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