Longtime Anchor Bay School District educator Judy Stefanac lost her battle to Leukemia Monday at age 63, a district official said Wednesday.
Visitation was set for 3-9 p.m. Wednesday at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons Funeral Home, 54880 Van Dyke in Shelby Township. A funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home, said Ken Krause, director of elementary education at the district.
"She worked with many of our teachers and administrators here at Anchor Bay and we're all sad at her passing. And, of course, we wish her family the best in these trying circumstances," Krause said.
Stefanac took a personal leave last summer from her position as high school principal, which she served since the 2002-03 school year, in light of her illness. Prior to her role at the school, she worked as principal of Maconce Elementary and an assistant principal and teacher at Anchor Bay Middle School North. She was instrumental in the opening of the new high school in fall 2003, according to the district.
"Judy had a tremendous commitment to education and doing the best job she could," Krause said. "She brought in her own style."
The educator, mother and grandmother was heavily involved in the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals in which she sat on the Board of Directors, he said.
"She brought in with her a lot of ideas that she implemented at the high school," he said of efforts such as preparing students for state assessment tests. "She was a very creative educator."
Stefanac, who began her career at Anchor Bay in 1995, was also devoted to her family. She had traveled to Australia to visit her new grandchild before falling ill, Krause said, adding she was surrounded by loved ones at the time of her death.