Skyline High School community mourns Lucina Partis, a student who touched the heart
Lucina Partis was a conscientious student who was kind to everyone and always put others first, her friends and teachers said today.
“If you stepped on her foot, she would say ‘I’m sorry,'" said her friend Alex Kime, a fellow junior at Skyline High School.
That kindness was apparent in the classroom, said Tom Pachera, the lead teacher of the Skyline High School Design, Technology and Environmental Planning Magnet program, in which Lucina was a student. “She was one of the nicest kids you’d ever want to meet,'' he said. "Nice is a simple word but she was a really simple kid. She was very non-judgmental and would work with anybody in the classroom.”
Lucina died Wednesday night at her home in what school officials said was an accidental drowning.
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“When I heard the news, it just made me think and reflect back on how she was just always happy to be there and be a part of the group and be part of the team. She was like that perfect player that you want on your team,'' he said. ''Tennis was a new sport for her and she was always open to learning and I so much enjoyed having her on the team.”
She was also a good team player off the court, Pachera said. Teamwork is an important part of the magnet programs at Skyline, he noted. “She was a very valued teammate. When I asked students to pick groups, people always wanted her in their group.”
Lucina was born in Toulouse, France, where she lived until 2009, when she and her mother moved to Ann Arbor. Lucina loved France, to which she hoped to return, but she equally enjoyed making a new life and new friends in Ann Arbor, her mother Janet Cannon said in an e-mail.
Besides her mother, survivors include her father, Stephen Partis of France; paternal grandparents, Robin and Ann Partis of England; and maternal grandparents, Roger and Alice Cannon of California.
School officials said Lucina’s family has asked anyone who wants to memorialize her to make contributions in her name to the environmental group Greenpeace or Amnesty International.
Pachera said students in his magnet program have been collecting donations for such a memorial to Greenpeace in her honor.
Lucina’s friends said her selflessness even extended to their conversations with her. She was a fabulous listener, said her friend Rachel Blakemore, a junior at Community High School, and never tried to monopolize the conversation. “It was never about her,” she said.
She also didn’t care about labels or what other people thought of her. “She was kind and accepting to everyone,” said Aidan McLogan, a junior at Skyline.
Even students who weren’t close to Lucina were deeply saddened by her death, Pachera said. They included senior members of the tennis team. “They certainly didn’t know her well, but they were all in tears and needed hugs,” Pachera said.
It was Lucina’s personality that made people react that way, Risdon said.
“She is one of those kids that just touched your heart — just a sweet, sweet girl,” Risdon said.
Her mother said it best. “We’ll miss her forever.”