Two benches placed at the entrance to Delta Middle School will serve as a tribute to Karen Roberts, a longtime DMS teacher who died unexpectedly during the school year.
While students, staff and family members wiped away tears at the dedication ceremony, assistant principal Tammy Shelton urged everyone to celebrate the life of Mrs. Roberts, "who always saw the positive side of everything."
Mrs. Roberts was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 70, while she was still teaching. She died just a month later, on Dec. 16, 2012.
She was born in Delta and graduated from Delta High School in 1961. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and a master's degree from CU Boulder. She began her career in education as a P.E. teacher in Denver. At Delta Middle School, she was a language arts teacher who attended as many of her students' extracurricular activities as possible.
"You were her #1 priority," Danielle Barnard, a fellow teacher at DMS, told the students gathered for the dedication ceremony.
Assistant superintendent Kurt Clay worked with Roberts as both a teacher and administrator. "She would want each and every one of you to do your very best," he said. "The one thing you need to know about her is that mediocrity isn't okay."
Students conveyed their thoughts through poetry, memories and a musical tribute. One said some students considered Roberts "a cranky old lady who gave harsh grades," but in reality she was a caring, compassionate woman who looked out for everyone, students and staff alike.
Kim Shreeves said Roberts was not only her aunt, she was also a peer and mentor. She said Roberts had high expections of herself and her students, and she loved the opportunity to challenge every student to do his or her best.
Mrs. Roberts' mother, Lola Bangert of Delta, and sister, Debra Bonzek of Grand Junction, were honored guests at the ceremony. Mrs. Roberts has two children, a son who lives in New York and a daughter who resides in North Carolina.blog comments powered by Disqus