Ms Deru's first year teaching was my senior year, I took her classes for both of my remaining semesters. Not only because I enjoyed her teaching style, but also because we shared common passions.She was intelligent, considerate, and one of kindest people I've ever known. My deepest condolences to her family and friends. She will be truly missed.
I believe there are angels among us, and I believe that one of those angels was Stefanie Deru. Stefanie was there for me in my darkest hour.
I was approaching retirement from a teaching career at Southside High School, and I had accumulated lots of sick days. I needed to use some of those sick days, but I never did like to take off work.
One day I happened to be at a place where I saw Pam Deru, Stefanie's mom. Pam told me that Stefanie had received her BS degree in Finance at Auburn and was now working on another degree in Business Education. Stefanie wanted to teach school, and her dream was to someday work at Southside High School.
Suddenly an idea popped in my mind, and I asked Pam if she thought Stefanie would be willing to work for me for a half day each day of my last semester while she was taking college classes at night. Stefanie agreed to do this for me. I now know that this was the work of the Lord.
In just a few weeks, my Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was the kindness of Stefanie Deru that allowed me to have a few more precious hours with my Dad, who died 13 days after I retired. God's plan also paved the way for Stefanie to see her dream come true when she was hired as a Business Education teacher at Southside High in 2010.
Stefanie and I formed a special bond, and our friendship continued. Sometimes Stefanie would stop by our house on her way home after school, just to talk about things going on at school. Just 10 days before her death, Stefanie came for a visit and stayed to eat dinner with me and my husband. What a fun time we had – a time I will always treasure.
My heart goes out to the family and to all Stefanie's students – or as she called them, “her babies.” Stefanie had many friends, she loved Southside High, and she will be greatly missed. Thank you Stefanie for being there for me, as you were always there for so many others.
Prayers for the deru family at such a sad time! So sorry to hear about your loss
Prayers for your family and heaven gained a beautiful angel
Stefanie was such a great person and friend to me. I enjoyed her company as my classmate at Jacksonville State and Auburn. You are all in my thoughts and prayers during this tough time and tremendous loss.