After the tragic loss of beloved Lee Road Elementary School music teacher Dr. Brian LaClair last school year, Nicole Steiner, one of his long time students and a current sixth grader at Jonas E. Salk Middle School, wanted to keep his memory alive for the Levittown community in a special way. Nicole raised money through the sale of rubber bracelets inscribed with the words "In Loving Memory of Dr. LaClair, Our Beloved Music Teacher," to donate a bench and plant a tree in his honor on the grounds of Lee Road Elementary School.
A few days after Dr. LaClair's passing, Nicole had the idea to make the bracelets as a way to remember her teacher whom she admired. After speaking with Lee Road Elementary School's Principal Anthony Goss, Nicole's bracelet idea was approved. She created a flyer which was then approved by the Levittown Board of Education for her bracelet sale and the news quickly spread to faculty and students. Each bracelet sold for $3 and Nicole was shocked by the outpouring of support and positive response by the school community.
"I wanted to raise money so that the school could buy something that could remind students that had Dr. LaClair and future students of how great of a teacher he was," said Nicole. "The tree (and bench) is now where the kids come out to recess so I think that's a perfect spot because everyone can see it and remember how Dr. LaClair changed the school and helped us realize that music is so important to everybody."