MESA, Ariz. - An especially heartfelt tribute here in the Valley to the late former First Lady Barbara Bush. She was honored with a moment of silence by the students of the Mesa school named after her.
Students attending Barbara Bush Elementary School near McKellips and Higley say she's a role model for them. They're sad about her death and the school is finding special ways to honor the former first lady.
"Our namesake has passed away yesterday and we want to take a moment to recognize her."
The flag was at half-staff and the legacy of Barbara Bush was on everyone's mind at the school.
"She's been all over the country, all over the world, helping kids, parents and families become better readers."
"It's been pretty amazing being here as principal at Barbara Bush Elementary School with a school that champions the legacy of a woman who championed literacy, education and family and had such strong values," said Tracy Olson.
"To think she's been married that long and done that many great things," said Charlee Bennett, a 6th grader.
People at the school were awed by her contributions to the country.
"That's quite incredible to be wife of a president as well as mother of another president," said Olson, who added that Mrs. Bush visited the school as many as four times.
"Her attention was to the kids. She didn't have a lot of time or the hoopla or cameras, she just wanted to read to the kids."
Glass cases at the school are filled with memorabilia and photos of the first lady. Students are also assembling a scrap book.
"It makes me think no matter who you are or your abilities or struggles, you can do anything as long as you put your efforts towards it and you strive to it," said Bennett.
Principal Olson says it's an honor to have their educational institution carrying on Barbara Bush's name. It's the only school named after the former first lady outside of Texas.