In 2010, the Delaware School on Syracuse's near west side had an opening for a librarian. Principal Milagros Escalera got a strong recommendation that she should hire Lori Bresnahan - a librarian known as "a superstar" in the district. Bresnahan had worked in the Liverpool School District for many years but cuts eliminated her position.
Escalera says it didn't take long for Lori Bresnahan to become a part of the Delaware school family. "She didn't know anyone, some people also were new but she had a uniting force," Escalera said. "She was just that kind of person you were drawn to, just her smile and her winning ways."
Bresnahan helped renovate the look of the library and worked with staff across the building on new technology. Escalera says you could see her passion in everything she did, especially how she mentored students who needed extra help with reading skills. "They really loved her and they really took to her."
After a year, Bresnahan was able to return to Liverpool, but first she took time to work with the new Delaware librarian Kathryn Shanahan. Shanahan says Bresnahan set an example for every librarian and she could not believe someone would even think to harm a woman who had done so much to help children. "I think it struck at lot of people to the core of who we are and to see something like that happen to such a wonderful person, it shakes you."
Parents have been writing and calling in to Delaware, sharing stories of the ways Lori Bresnahan made a difference for their child. Principal Milagros Escalera says she wants to remember those moments, not the tragic end of her life.
"When you say her name, a smile comes to your face because that's what we remember. We remember her light, her attraction, remember the love she shared so readily. It was so easy for her to share, not just with adults, but with children," said Escalera.