More than 50 members of the Monrovia Unified community joined together May 6 to share stories, laughter, and tears as they dedicated a library at the District’s alternative schools to Bruce and Mariellen Staller – volunteers who spent more than 20 years developing and improving the library.
The dedication highlighted the duo’s efforts in taking the library of Canyon Oaks High School and Mountain Park School under their wing and enhancing the schools’ literacy programs.
“So many of our students have developed a love for literacy because of Bruce and Mariellen Staller,” said Flint Fertig, director of alternative education. “We are so thankful for the time they’ve given to us, the library, and our students. This library is theirs – for always giving and never taking.”
Mariellen, who recently passed away, used her background in library science to work alongside Bruce and make the library what it is today. Bruce, who attended the event, shared the special moment with his family and friends who cheered him on as he thanked the Board of Education and school administrators.
“I can’t tell you how honored I am with the dedication of this library and how honored Mariellen is feeling right now as she looks down upon us,” Bruce said.
The library – which had no books available 20 years ago – is a fully functioning multi-media center that houses more than 8,000 volumes and periodicals and enriches the lives of students by promoting literacy and giving them a place to conduct research, work on assignments, and deepen their love for reading.
“It is so important for our students to have this kind of a library, and Bruce and Mariellen saw that and they worked tirelessly to make this library what it is today,” Board of Education President Ed Gililland said. “It is paramount that we have great literacy programs in our schools and this library supports that.”
Board Vice President Rob Hammond noted his long history with the Stallers and thanked them for their commitment to generations of Monrovia students – past, present, and future. Also present were Board members Maritza Travanti and Selene Lockerbie.
The celebration concluded with a video put together by the schools’ audiovisual program, who followed Bruce around the library for a day as he highlighted his personal history and, of course, some of his favorite books.
“Our students are enriched by the time and expertise volunteers offer so selflessly. Bruce epitomizes the spirit of volunteerism so embedded within the Monrovia community,” Superintendent Katherine Thorossian said. “The job of a superintendent is made just a little easier when we have people who give as graciously as Bruce and Mariellen in her time.”