In December 2008, Dr. Cynthia Livingston, at the time principal of Fremont Elementary, lost a wonderful teacher and dear friend, Laura Thornbury, to cancer. Cynthia decided a fitting way to honor the award-winning teacher and friend would be to build a memorial garden within the school grounds. And so the idea of Laura’s Literacy Garden was born.
An extensive and successful fundraising campaign netted thousands of dollars for the project donated by adoring family, friends, parents and colleagues. Designed as a peaceful, serene and relaxing place for students to gather to enjoy a good read, the initial design of the garden was set to come to fruition a year and a half later. But Measure K passed and great plans for Fremont and many aging schools in the area were proposed. The garden was shelved temporarily but was a key element in the overall design of Fremont’s renovation.
Dr. Livingston moved onto Rosemont Middle School and confidently handed the garden project over to another dear friend of Laura’s, Dr. Christin Molano, Fremont’s next principal who kept on top of the project through the six-year remodel. Just as the school was wrapping up the final improvements Dr. Molano was promoted and Vickie Atikian Aviles was named the current principal at Fremont. She graciously took responsibility of the long-awaited garden project.
It is the Thornbury family’s proud honor to announce and invite the community to join them in the dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. at Fremont Elementary, 3320 Las Palmas Ave. Glendale 91208. All are invited to see what an embracing community, a sensitive school district and three caring school principals can accomplish in the name of love and honor!