In Loving Memory of Donna Fallon

Sevilla Tovar, News Editor

AP Language Teacher Donna Fallon was fundamental to University City High. At one point in her career she led the Drill Team and Cheer Squad in addition to her duties teaching English. However, she is best known for being the longtime head of the Associated Student Body. She was a familiar face to many, a friend you could always count on, and a positive figure for all students. After her tragic passing, she will be missed, but her legacy will live on.

  Those who saw Fallon as a peer knew she was devoted and playful. Yearbook Advisor Elizabeth Frohoff was one of Fallon’s friends at the school. She said, “We worked together for eight years. I was the yearbook teacher, so I worked closely with her on numerous projects. ASB and yearbook go hand in hand.” She continued to describe Fallon’s determination and passion for teaching, sharing, “Even when she was tired, which was often, she was still full of energy and working with the kids. She was so dedicated to the students.”

   Current Associated Student Body Advisor Michele Fournier, stated jokingly that Fallon was much more mischievous than one might think. “She was the kind of person who would love to pull pranks on people. If she could find out something that either scared you, or made you laugh, or that creeped you out, she would find a way to do something in your classroom to mess with you,” she said. 

   Fournier recounted one of Fallon’s many pranks. Fournier had heard a suspicious noise in the middle of the night, and after realizing an animal had come through her doggie door and was eating out of her dog’s bowl, she panicked. After successfully trapping the animal and getting it outside, she was unable to sleep for the rest of the night. Fournier said, “I come to school the next day and I’m telling Mrs. Fallon and a friend of ours, Mrs. Dyson, ‘Oh my god, you guys can’t believe what just happened, it was so terrible.’ The next day when I came to school, I found they had taped down every kind of animal footprint all around my room. There were deer footprints, bear footprints, skunk footprints. They even had the kids in ASB draw a skunk, a possum, a raccoon, and a bear. My whole room was covered in drawings of animals all along the floor.”

   Those who knew Fallon as a teacher knew she was full of life and kind beyond words. According to current Associated Student Body President Senior Rachael Schneider, “She was my ASB advisor and my AP English Language teacher my junior year, but above all, she was my friend. She was charismatic yet sassy every day; I loved her attitude. She would wear pajamas to Zooms and wrap herself in her tortilla blanket, which always made me laugh.” 

   Senior Amadu Tadesse also had Fallon as his teacher: “I remember in Zoom every day she would have us tell her dad jokes to cheer her up and help the class get through the day.” Fallon was also incredibly supportive to her students. According to former UC student and ASB Member Shayna Meltzer, “When I went to tour the University of Oregon, she gave me money to buy her a sweatshirt because she wanted to be able to represent the school I attended — even though I told her that I really wasn’t sure I would go there. She clearly knew something I didn’t, because I did end up going to Oregon and Fallon had the merch to support my university way before I did.”

   It is clear that her legacy will continue on. For the first home football game this season, students wore purple in her honor. Additionally, the Football Team retired the number 23 jersey, as Donna taught at UC High for 23 years. Embellished with Fallon’s last name and a photo of her and her family, the jersey is now framed and on display in the Associated Student Body room. 

   Staff members, as well as students, will continue to honor Fallon’s memory. Principal Michael Paredes said, “Mrs. Fallon continues to be an inspiration to us all. She approached her work as a teacher and ASB advisor with pure humility. I miss her, and I know that her spirit will live on, with all of us.”

   Fallon lived an inspiring life, one that won’t be forgotten. Her legacy will continue through those who were close to her. Schneider said, “I would want future students to know that she was not only an extraordinary teacher, advisor, mentor, but she was a mom, a wife, and a friend to all.” Meltzer added, “Fallon was more than just my teacher and advisor — she was my greatest advocate, supporter, and mentor in high school. I can say with absolute certainty that I would not be where I am today without her guidance and compassion.”

    Fallon was a light for many, and that light will continue to shine through the people she touched.