The children, their parents and faculty were at their school to name their library after Karen A. Lupinski, who taught at Dale City Elementary School for 22 years.
Lupinski died at 56 of breast cancer last summer, and everyone at the school wanted to do something to remember her.
Lupinski’s husband Ed, a retired U.S. Army colonel, attended the ceremony as well.
“I can think of no better way to show appreciation for Karen’s efforts here. I’m very proud of what they did for her,” Lupinski, 54, said as students and teachers hugged one another and dried each other’s tears after the ceremony.
Kathy Johnson, who asked Dale City Elementary students to collect pennies to pay for the ceremony and the new sign above the library door, said she thought Lupinski would have liked having the library bear her name.
“She was a teacher who loved books, loved children, loved literature and loved education,” said Johnson, the school guidance counselor.
Cheryl Spencer, the school’s reading specialist, taught with Lupinski from the beginning. Her eyes glistened with tears as she spoke of her friend.
“This has been a rough day,” Spencer said, “It’s a beautiful way to remember her, but it makes us a little sad.”
The sign bearing Lupinski’s name is fashioned of black plexiglass with raised, sans-serif mirrored gold lettering.
Library books have been dedicated to Lupinski and a memory book will be kept in the library.