School district renames elementary school after former teacher

A huge honor for a local educator in the Roosevelt School District.

Irene Lopez spent 28-years as a music teacher, vice principal, and eventually principal at what was formerly known as Rose Linda Elementary School.

She passed last July, a few months after her retirement. Now the district named the school after her.

Blue and white beads were handed out to everyone who walked through the door. The bright t-shirts proudly displayed the new name of what was formerly Rose Linda Elementary School.

"She saw this as her second family, and often would say these are my kids," said Rebecca Lopez Estebez.

Rebecca said her sister would be humbled, and proud that the Roosevelt School District renamed the school she loved in her honor.

"This school was built in 1962, it's been known as Rose Linda since then, but today on May 1st, 2015 it's going to become Irene Lopez after a beloved educator that spent 28 years of her career here," said Joseph Ortiz, with the district.

It was one year ago, May of 2014 in the school's auditorium where Lopez celebrated her retirement. But her untimely passing in July affected the students, staff, and community she served.

"Those of us in the Roosevelt District were very saddened by it, but I think she would be happy the school that was near and dear to her heart is now going to be named after her, a great legacy for the community," said Ortiz.

"It's well deserved, she's done a lot for the community, and I think you can tell by the numbers they came out in droves," said Rebecca.

The marquis out front has already been replaced with a Welcome to Irene Lopez Elementary School message flashing across the sign.

District officials say that Rose Linda was not a person, just a name they used for the school in the past.
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