Outstanding, Caring, Funny, Counselor, Teacher, Mentor and Friend.
That’s how Steve Droullard was remembered at Wednesday’s special recognition event at East Union High.
The longtime counselor at the school passed away last April. One of Droullard’s students, Jessica Gonzalez Macgregor, who graduated from East Union in 2004, took it upon herself to purchase the memorial bench in his honor.
Included was a plaque in remembrance of Droullard, which read: “Your life was a blessing, your memory was a treasurer. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.”
Macgregor, who lives in Idaho, was unable to make the trip but relayed her message to Marilyn Lagier, her former English teacher – Lagier, who retired in 2013, and Art teacher Kim Ray helped out Macgregor with making possible the special recognition plaque – of Droullard, who she initially met as eighth grader while interviewing for the AVID program.
Although Macgregor didn’t get into AVID, she did credit her counselor for getting her out of remedial classes and into College Prep courses.
“Mr. Droullard believed in me when no one else did. I did not have a dad growing up and he stepped in as a father figure. It was because of him that I became a first-generation college student,” she said.
Macgregor went to California State University, East Bay after high school.
Principal Raul Mora worked with Droullard on the Scholarship Committee. He said the initial plans were to locate the memorial bench in front of the Counseling Center. Instead, Mora heard that the quad area was a better choice.
“I’m told this was Steve’s favorite place,” he said.
Droullard was at East Union from 1986 through 2011. During that time, he influenced the lives of thousands of students, according to his daughter Kristin Meeks, who is a teacher in the Manteca Unified School District.
Her father was also remembered for his love of music and family.
Droullard and his wife of 49 years, Jean, raised Meeks and her brother, Kevin. They also enjoyed their five grandchildren.
“He connected with his students through laughter,” Meeks said.
Steve Droullard had no trouble dressing up for the occasion. He was everything from the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Cupid and even Sonny Bono to Lagier’s Cher.
Droullard attended Fresno State, where he majored his Music. He taught music early in his education career.
As a tribute for his love of music, Maria Peceli, an opera singer from Sacramento, performed at the event, singing many of the classical tunes.
In attendance were dignitaries the MUSD, including former Director of Secondary Education Bob Lee and current Senior Director of Secondary Education Clara Schmiedt, to name a few.
All were treated to the original Red Vine licorice. Droullard often kept the tub-size treat on his desk as an afternoon pick-me-up or just to share.