Ovida de Julia, who earned a reputation for teaching American Sign Language as an integral part of communication at CVHS for 25 years, died in July at age 51 after a long struggle with cancer.
As de Julia put it, ASL “allows people who can’t express their emotions in words easily to still give voice to their feelings.” During her years at CVHS, de Julia’s classes were filled with diverse learners who strived to explore the possibility of learning sign language to enhance speech development, and participate in the annual ASL show.
“She knew the language well and constantly exemplifed its beauty through ASL shows,” said senior Selena Lieu. “That was her contribution. We were able to learn and thrive in positive peer interactions. Students came to her classes for the purity of her method, and de Julia taught us with her heart.”
When news first broke of de Julia’s death, the school campus was hit with an overwhelming sense of tragedy. On social media, the newsfeeds flowed with condolences from students and teachers expressing their sympathy to de Julia and her family.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and the many students who were blessed with her amazing spirit, “ remarked by Meredith Heyniger Judkins, a parent of a former student.
“She was a true positive influence in my son’s life. We feel blessed to have had the opportunity to know her.”
Students hoped to reflect de Julia’s compassion, fondly recounting their memories of her. Stories reminiscing her sense of humor, graceful gestures, and humility were brought with a sense of dismay. Although many mourned over the loss, those close to de Julia will forever remember the times they had with her.
de Julia is remembered for her dedication, bravery, and strength. She spent much of her time at CVHS developing close relationships with students and staff, contributing to the intellectual vitality of the campus with her charms.