By Kaanan Raja and Emma Venetis
Kelly Snyder was a loving mother, an inspiring teacher, a true friend, a compassionate wife, a boisterous singer and a resilient fighter. As a French teacher for two years at DGS, her passion for the French culture brought a tremendous increase of students into the program. After a long battle with cancer, Kelly Snyder passed away on May 21 at the age of 53.
After doing everything from Girl Scouts, to being a thespian involved in her high school speech team, to singing back-up vocals at a Barry Manilow concert, Kelly Snyder found her passion in teaching French.
Daughter of Kelly Snyder, senior Shannon Snyder has witnessed the dedication her mother had to teaching.
“Teaching was what she lived for,” Shannon Snyder said. “I’ve never once have seen my mom complain about her job because she was so passionate about the French language and teaching to all the people she could.”
Fellow French teacher Isabelle Menke was not only Kelly Snyder’s coworker but her friend. She has also experienced the enthusiasm Kelly Snyder brought to the Foreign Language Department.
“She was such a caring person, you couldn’t help but like her,” Menke said. “She cared about her colleagues and especially about her students…she left a big hole in our department.”
Outside the classroom, Kelly Snyder’s passion extended onto music, nature, her church, her friends and her family.
“She was very involved with the church in her hometown, and she loved singing in the choir,” Shannon Snyder said.
Kelly Snyder’s love for music reached far beyond her experience in choirs, and has left some wonderful memories. Shannon Snyder recalls a moment at her sister’s birthday party when her mom dressed in a leopard printed V-neck dress and black pumps, singing and dancing to Ricky Martin’s ‘Shake Your Bon-Bon.’
“She was a classic oldie but a goodie with her love for disco, [Ford Thunderbird], John Travolta and retro clothing,” Shannon Snyder said.
It was through her vibrant and empathetic nature that Kelly Snyder was able to touch the lives of those around her.
When freshman Paige Patera was dealing with medical issues this school year, she felt that her teacher Kelly Snyder was supportive and actively tried to help her.
“She would ask me everyday how I was feeling and try to help me be as comfortable as I could be in French class,” Patera said.
Kelly Snyder’s positivity and selflessness never faltered throughout her battle with cancer. Fine Arts Department Chair Glenn Williams was moved by her strength throughout her illness.
“Her reaction to cancer continues to inspire me…Kelly gave me perspective on things that matter in life. [She] reminded me that I’m in control of how I respond to the circumstances in my life,” Williams said.
Senior Deanna Bailey, friend and neighbor of the Snyder family, agreed with Williams and was likewise inspired by Kelly Snyder’s constant resilience and vigor.
“She didn’t let cancer get the best of her. I was always surprised to see her in the halls during school because I knew what she was going through…I hope one day I can be as strong in the face of adversity like Mrs. Snyder was,” Bailey said.
While Kelly Snyder’s death has been a tremendous loss to her family, friends and the DGS community, she will always be remembered for her strength, kindness and passion.
“I will always remember her as a caring woman with a love for her family, every shade of red nail polish, and French cuisine,” Shannon Snyder said. “She may be gone physically, but she is always around us…the marks that she has left in this world and on people’s lives will last forever.”