Outstanding, caring, funny, advisor, teacher, mentor and friend.
This is how Steve Droullard is remembered at Wednesday’s special recognition event at East Union High.
The school’s longtime advisor passed away last April. One of Droullard’s students, Jessica Gonzalez Macgregor, who graduated from the East Union in 2004, decided to purchase the memorial bench in her honor.
A plaque in memory of Droullard was included: “Your life was a blessing, your memory was a treasurer. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.
Macgregor, who lives in Idaho, was unable to make the trip but passed his message on to Marilyn Lagier, his former English teacher – Lagier, who retired in 2013, and art teacher Kim Ray helped Macgregor make possible the special recognition plaque – from Droullard, whom she first met in eighth grade during an interview for the AVID program.
Although Macgregor didn’t get into AVID, she credited her advisor with taking her out of remedial classes and college prep classes.
“Monsieur. Droullard believed in me when no one else did. I didn’t have a father growing up and he stepped in as a father figure. It was because of him that I became a first generation student, ”she said.
Macgregor went to California State University, East Bay after high school.
Director Raul Mora worked with Droullard on the scholarship committee. He said the initial plans were to locate the memorial bench outside the counseling center. Instead, Mora heard that the quad area was a better choice.
“I was told this was Steve’s favorite place,” he said.
Droullard was at East Union from 1986 to 2011. During that time, he influenced the lives of thousands of students, according to his daughter Kristin Meeks, who is a teacher in the Manteca Unified School District.
His father was also remembered for his love of music and family.
Droullard and his 49-year-old wife, Jean, raised Meeks and his brother, Kevin. They also enjoyed their five grandchildren.
“He connected with his students through laughter,” Meeks said.
Steve Droullard had no trouble dressing for the occasion. He was everything from the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Cupid and even Sonny Bono to Cher de Lagier.
Droullard attended Fresno State, where he majored in music. He taught music early in his teaching career.
In tribute to her love of music, Maria Peceli, an opera singer from Sacramento, performed at the event, singing many classic tunes.
MUSD dignitaries were in attendance, including former director of secondary education Bob Lee and current senior director of secondary education Clara Schmiedt, to name a few.
All of them have been treated with the original licorice from the red vine. Droullard would often keep the tub-sized treat on his desk as an afternoon pickup or just to share.