ROCKFORD - A somber mood was
On Thursday night, dozens gathered inside Boylan's auditorium for a prayer service and open mike night to allow students to cope with her loss. The service was all done on the stage; something in addition to teaching that Sleger had a passion for. Sleger was the director of theater at Boylan for 33 years and taught for 34 years.
"Vicki would come to school by 5:30 AM almost every day," said Matt Myers, Boylan's choral director. "Then she would be here past 10:00 almost every day. She was this school."
Myers had a strong personal connection to Sleger. The two worked together with the school's theater program; one that Sleger made sure was successful.
"An alum from our school directed Wicked on Broadway. Another alum received an Academy Award last year, and another one is the voice of the Little Mermaid in the Disney movie," said Myers.
"These were all of her students, all people that she supported and inspired."
One of those current actors is Boylan junior, Cheyenne Oseguera. She says only joined Sleger in theater last year but says she has left a lasting impression.
"She just threw me right in just like I had been there the whole time," said Oseguera. "She was just so welcoming and so loving of everyone all the time. She was like a mother to all of us."
"Mama" was a term used by many of her students toward her, and "Mama" has some unfinished business. Sleger was in the middle of directing Beauty and the Beast for Boylan's spring performance. Her students say they'll continue her work in her honor.
"They want to make this the best she she's ever been involved in, which is a high goal from themselves because she's had some very successful performances," said Myers. "But they're very committed to making this the best show there's ever been."
visitation for Victoria Sleger will be at the Fitzgerald Funeral Home,