Remembering Anglena

Duncombe students plant tree in honor of their friend

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Duncombe Elementary School kindergarten students Grace Tornabane, right, and Lakin Sheeley, top right, each place a scoop of dirt as they help plant a tree Tuesday afternoon for their classmate Anglena Hiracheta, who was killed in a March 2 traffic accident in Wyoming.

The kindergarten class at Duncombe Elementary School miss their friend and classmate Anglena Hiracheta.

She has not been among them since March 2 when a traffic accident on a snow-covered interstate in Wyoming claimed her life. She was 6.

Tuesday afternoon, the students and staff gathered to remember their friend. They planted a tree with a purple ribbon on it, blew bubbles and shared what their friend meant in their lives.

Special education teacher Angie Copper held her hands over her heart.

“Anglena is going to be right here,” she said. “Remember her with love.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Duncombe Elementary School kindergarten teacher Brooke Mosher shows her students a sign that will be placed next to a tree they planted in memory of their classmate Anglena Hiracheta, who was killed in a March 2 car crash in Wyoming.

Then she asked the students.

“What made you smile about her,” Copper asked.

The students all had good answers. They had many fond memories too.

“She was a nice friend,” one said.

“She’s cute,” said another.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Audrey Schmoker, 6, a kindergarten student at Duncombe Elementary School, blows bubbles for her classmate Anglena Hiracheta Tuesday afternoon during a memorial tree planting service.

“She played with me all the time,” said a fourth.

“She’s my best friend,” another student said.

They kept going.

“She always shared things; she liked purple. She shared good. She was nice to me. She was a very nice friend.”

Brooke Mosher was her teacher. She also shared.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Duncombe Elementary School kindergarten students return to class Tuesday afternoon after planting a tree, sharing memories and blowing bubbles for their classmate Anglena Hiracheta.

“She always came into class with a big smile; she was always giving hugs,” Mosher said. “Anglena loved bubbles too.”

The purple ribbon on her memory tree was there to honor her love of the color.

The bubbles, to provide a way to remember her.

“You can think about her every time you blow bubbles,” she said.

Mosher said that she encourages the students to talk about their loss and to share stories about Anglena when they want to.

“We encourage them to talk,” she said.

She said it helps the students to process the loss better if they can freely talk about it. The school’s counseling staff is also available for them, she said.

Each of the students got to help plant the tree. The shovels were miniatures, sized just perfectly for kindergarten hands. There was also a selection of plastic sandbox scoops, in bright fun colors. Everyone got to help.

Copper, too, had fond memories.

“I remember her smiles and her hugs,” she said. “She was such a blessing to our room.”

There was also a special treat once they were back inside — cupcakes. With purple icing, of course.

One of the students who shared summed it up nicely.

“I love her,” she said.