Beloved former Redwood Spanish teacher Stacey Goodwin passes away

Heidi Roenisch

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Former Redwood Spanish teacher Stacey Goodwin died the weekend of Nov. 7-8.

Goodwin worked at Redwood for eight years and previously at Tam and Drake, before moving to Ibiza, Spain in January of 2015.

Goodwin and her family had returned to the United States to live in Los Angeles in July, where she died. In the weeks since, her husband and two children have moved back to Ibiza.

While she took a semester leave for surgery recovery in 2013, details about Goodwin’s death are still largely unknown, as her family has decided to maintain privacy while they mourn.

The information was communicated to the student body through friend and fellow Redwood Spanish teacher Deborah McCrea, who received an email from Goodwin’s husband informing of her passing.

Despite her grief, McCrea said that working with Goodwin was an adventure in itself.

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Goodwin and her daughter Stella on Halloween in 2013.

“She always had something going on in her life––she moved to Spain, she traveled a lot, she was so involved with Spanish culture,” McCrea said.

McCrea also shared the impact Goodwin had on her students.

“I think her students really appreciated how she really respected them and encouraged and welcomed them,” McCrea said. “She really wanted to make learning fun and interesting for the kids, and would always try to involve them, whether through making them sing or writing mad lib stories.”

According to McCrea, this energy led to a close relationship between Goodwin and her students.

“She would try to get them engaged, and I think that it worked. Kids enjoyed her class. She made Spanish not limited to translations; it was something that would involve all of the students. It allowed them to see that a language can be fun and exciting,” McCrea said.

Sophomore Vicens Vila, who was Goodwin’s student his freshman year, said that she left a mark on the Spanish program at Redwood.

“She had so much energy that it translated into student enthusiasm, which made things so much better,” Vila said. “While she was a teacher, she was also very much someone you just had a lot of fun with. She was so colorful, and one of the most vibrant people I’ve met.”

One of Vila’s favorite memories of Goodwin’s enthusiasm came from the first day of school.

“The first day of school, she wouldn’t let us go into the classroom at first and made us go in one by one, and then she would scream our names and we would cheer for and applaud each other as we walked in,” Vila said. “It was a really warm welcome back to school, and it set a tone for a very good semester.”

A favorite memory of McCrea’s pertains to Goodwin’s  unique teaching style.

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Junior Bryte Darden makes a card to send to the Goodwin family in Ibiza, Spain.

“We have this really hard tense in Spanish, the imperfect subjunctive, and it was really hard for us to make it understandable for the kids, so she took the Enrique Iglesias song ‘Hero’ and created a whole backstory around it where she was a superhero, and then she would run into my classroom and change into a Superman costume and go back to her class and get her kids singing along. She would even get on the desks and jump around,” McCrea said.

“Some of the kids thought she was a little crazy, but that was the way she got them invested,” McCrea said. “The kids were willing to put themselves out there because they saw that she was doing the same thing everyday.”

Vila also mentioned the impact Goodwin’s teaching style had.

“You could hear her down the hallway- you could tell she loved what she did,” he said.

Redwood students can make cards or send letters to Goodwin’s family by contacting McCrea. Grief counseling is also available in the Wellness Center.