Image of Charles LaVorgna speaking at LES during ribbon ceremony
  • Students at Susan La Vorgna Elementary School can now put a face behind the name of their French Valley campus. A portrait of La Vorgna, a veteran teacher who died from cancer at age 50 in 2003, was unveiled at the school Friday morning. Among those on hand for a short ceremony were La Vorgna's husband, Charles, daughters Anne and Catherine, father Clifford Murr, and brothers Wayne, Steve and Ron. The portrait will hang in the school's main office.

    "It's a bittersweet moment to come back here and be able to talk with the kids and reveal the picture," Charles La Vorgna said after the ceremony. While La Vorgna, a local psychologist, visits the school regularly, and Anne was a student teacher there last year, it was the first visit to the campus for some other family members. "They just stood in silence looking at the sign outside that said 'Susan La Vorgna Elementary,'" Charles La Vorgna said. "Susan's father was pretty choked up seeing the portrait."

    Susan La Vorgna was a kindergarten teacher in the Temecula Valley Unified School District for 14 years. She continued teaching through rounds of chemotherapy, almost until her death from ovarian cancer. Anne La Vorgna, 24, said she appreciated the opportunity to teach at the school named for her mother. She said she told some of the students about her mom, and the portrait will just add to her legacy. "I think all the kids will know more," Anne La Vorgna said. "It's putting a face to the name of the school."

    Taken from the San Diego Union-Tribune by