SAN ANTONIO – Former first lady Barbara Bush always kept a North East Independent School District middle school very close to her heart.
Inside Barbara Bush Middle School, off U.S. 281 North on Evans Road, there is a small book that holds a big collection of irreplaceable letters.
"As a campus, we've always felt we were special to her. She stayed in contact over the years," English teacher Margaret Boehme said.
In one letter, Bush thanked a teacher for a Christmas card. At the bottom of the letter, she signed her name and wrote, "I am so proud of my school."
"She came for our dedication ceremony in October 1998," Boehme said.
Boehme has spent 20 years of her 39-year teaching career at Bush Middle School. One of her favorite memories is shaking Bush's hand.
"She was warm; she was gracious. She was very interested in what they were doing in the classroom. She walked around and spoke to the kids," Boehme said.
Boehme said the school was named after Bush because of her interest in literacy. Her death on Tuesday had a big impact on the campus. A memorial has begun to form in the front office. Pictures and flowers have been sent by parents and community members.
Most students never got to meet Bush, but they still grasp the importance of what their school stands for.
"She stands as a powerful woman, as an educator, as a great role model for us to follow," eighth-grader Maribel Martinez said.
Pictures and letters throughout the school will keep Bush's memory alive, but the students know their ambition, education and growth is what will keep her legacy alive.