Librarian leaves a lasting legacy
Report by : By Alan Blank
address of original source : http://www.dailypilot.com/articles/2009/06/25/topstory/dpt-librarian053009.txt
"Gay Royer spent her last day as the College Park Elementary librarian Friday after 33 years at the school, but with her departure the children whose lives she has touched will also be losing a coach, a therapist and a friend.Growing up, Royer had a troubled childhood, fraught with responsibilities not usually heaped on those her age. At 10, she was already acting like a mother to her two younger siblings. Because she missed a lot of her own childhood, the librarian says she “deals better in the child world than the adult world.”During her long tenure at the school, Royer has attracted students by showing a genuine interest in their life stories and approaching them with an energetic, amiable personality, always joking and laughing.Students would gravitate toward the library whenever they had a chance, where the affable librarian would hold court. She kept couches and plenty of teddy bears around and would recommend books to students.“She’s almost like a second grandma to the kids,” said Lori Robnett, a past PTA president whose son went to College Park and was so fond of Royer that he came back and visited her after he left the school.Living in Costa Mesa since childhood, Royer graduated from Costa Mesa High School. Support staff at the high school got her through, she said, and inspired her to try to help younger generations in the same way.Royer was a board member of the PTA for 30 years (in addition to brief stints on six other school PTAs), a Girl Scout leader, a volunteer coach of the school’s track and cross country team (along with colleague Buzz Amble) and a frequent organizer of school events, which often required her to come early in the morning and leave late in the afternoon.In the summers, Royer coordinated the sanitation crew at the Orange County Fair, where she gave many of her past students their first jobs as janitors.Now the librarian is leaving because of her newest responsibility: being a grandmother.“I’m going to retire and take care of the baby or else I wouldn’t retire until I’m 90 because I love the children here,” she said.Royer has seen some of the school’s kids grow up, raise families and send their own kids to the same school. The librarian was briefly honored in front of assembled students and teachers before classes Friday.Teacher Michelle Hanscom had this to say: “We will remember your legacy here — one filled with peace, love and laughter.”It’s unlikely that College Park has seen the last of Royer. Even though she is leaving, she plans to stay involved in the school where she left a lasting imprint on the lives of so many children".
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