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Gridley Herald

Remembering Ms. G

Jun 06, 2024 04:05PM ● By Seti LongMc

Gridley’s McKinley Elementary School staff and community came out to celebrate the life of teacher Stephanie Gualandi at a memorial walk last week. Photo provided by McKinley School


GRIDLEY, CA (MPG) – On Thursday, May 30, McKinley Elementary School students, Gridley Unified School District staff, the community and family of Stephanie Gualandi paid tribute to the special education teacher who recently lost her battle with cancer.

Gualandi taught at McKinley Elementary School for nine years and was described as a devoted teacher with a passion for serving her special needs students. Fellow McKinley School teacher Stephanie Olson said that Gualandi constantly advocated for her students and strived to connect with both mainstream and special needs children.

Gridley Unified School District Superintendent Justin Kern said in an email that everyone thought that Gualandi was winning the battle with cancer when she suddenly lost the battle. Gualandi was just 31 years old when she passed.

Olson organized a walk in remembrance of Gualandi’s legacy and to acknowledge the impact that she had on all their lives.

“I think we needed closure,” said Olson. “She was a very special person to our community and the kids that she served.”

At 4:30 p.m., a large group gathered in front of McKinley Elementary School, some wearing light green and green ribbons to represent the cancer that took Gualandi too early. Superintendent Kern and McKinley Elementary School Principal Rhiannon Treat took a moment to speak about the teacher before setting out.

The walk took a route around both Sycamore and McKinley campuses, ending on the playground at McKinley. There, students enjoyed cool treats and a variety of games. Gualandi’s husband and family were present, thanking everyone for coming out to honor the life of Gualandi.

For some, emotions ran high but it was clear that the woman had touched many lives both in the schools and within the community.

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