Students and faculty come together to grieve the loss of a teacher at Rockford's Boylan High School during a public memorial service.
Fifty-seven year-old Victoria Sleger worked as an English and literature teacher, and theater director with Boylan for 34 years. She taught multiple generations before passing away from complications from the flu Wednesday.
During her time teaching at Boylan High School, Sleger spent countless hours in the classrooms and hallways. But the place she loved to spend time most was on stage.
So her students decided, what a better place to remember her, than in the theater.
"Because this was her place and out place together, as a family. I know a lot of theater people would understand that, theater is kind of a home," says one of Sleger's students, Bobby Fandel.
Fandel says Sleger was like family to him. "She was always like a mother figure, she was honestly my second mom. She knew when things were wrong, she knew a lot about me and I'll never forget that."
Recent graduate Nick Moore says Sleger took her students under her wing, not only as a teacher and director, but also as a mentor. "She helped so many kids through so much, so many kids that didn't have a whole lot of friends, that didn't know where they fit in she helped them find a place," says Moore.
Anna Girgenti, a junior, says one of the many lessons Sleger taught was equality. "I don't act on stage, I just do backstage stuff and there's so many people who are involved in that way and she always made sure that they knew that they were just as important as everyone else, and that everyone's role was just equal because we're a family."
A public visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, Riverside Chapel, on Saturday, February 2.
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