The Taft College Children's Center wouldn’t be the same without the dedication and devoted leadership that Leslie Dragoo provided throughout the years
Although she impacted the facility by extending its property and spending countless nights handling paperwork, her influence on Taft’s people ran deeper. Taking this into account, there no question that the Taft College Children’s Library at the TC Children’s Center should be named in her honor.
Dragoo, passed away on December 29, 2019. Very few were aware of her positive sway over the children’s center, because it has been some time and her efforts are now overlooked. Because of this, alumni and beloved friends gathered at Taft College Children’s Center on May 11 to dedicate the library, as well as share memories of her.
The first half hour, people gathered around the center lobby for social time. Chairs and tables were already set up facing a podium outside, where stories were told and a heart-felt moment was shared between the speakers and audience. Though her presence was not felt physically, Dragoo was there in spirit.
A handful of speeches recalled her constant energy and unique attributes such as the over-the-top hats and puppets that she kept in her pocket. Because it is also a lab school, she wanted forms of technology to help students properly engage and understand the behavior of young individuals. Observation rooms were one of her big ideas that fell apart over the years; nevertheless, faculty is working together to reinvent Leslie’s desires.
Dragoo had an obvious adoration for children, as well as a big heart. Some of the things she accomplished were writing a grant for building the Children’s Center, presenting at child development conferences, getting portable buildings for the school, forming connections with local construction teams, induction to the TC Hall of Fame in 2018, and much more. One of her biggest forms of praise was by being named Woman of the Year in 1993: “In recognition of outstanding service and dedication to the people of the state of California
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