Pampa community remembers ‘Coach P’

Pampa Junior High School honors coach with memorial bench, dedication ceremony

Pampa community remembers ‘Coach P’

PAMPA, Texas (KFDA) - Students, faculty and members of the community are honoring Coach Deanna Polasek, also known as Coach P, who died nearly two years ago.

She was a teacher and Girls Athletics Coach at Pampa Junior High for 16 years.

“It was a shock to us of course and a big shock to the kids. It was just an outpouring of love from the community to my family,” said her husband Eugene Polasek.

Students back in 2017 showed their love and support by starting a project to get a memorial bench made in her honor.

Deanna's twin sister, Jeanna, took the lead on the project last fall, selling bricks to be placed around the bench in memory of Coach P.

“We started selling the bricks and we ordered the bench and got that you know designed and then bought a cameo to put on there and then we got the person to lay it and literally they just finished it last week,” said Jeanna Zuniga.

She said she and her family are honored by what the Pampa community has done.

Pampa JHS Memorial Bench (Source: KFDA)
Pampa JHS Memorial Bench (Source: KFDA) (Source: KFDA)

“We’re very proud of what she did. Because she genuinely loved her students, and they loved her back. And you can tell out of all the kids that bought the bricks and still talk about her today,” said Zuniga.

Friends, former students and faculty who worked with Coach P also attended a special dedication ceremony.

“She was a friend. You could talk to her about anything and she built a bond with every single one of her students,” said former student Maggie Hernandez.

“She was a great encourager, she was always there when we needed her,” said former student Ally Gutierrez.

Pampa JHS Memorial Bench (Source: KFDA)
Pampa JHS Memorial Bench (Source: KFDA) (Source: KFDA)

Ed Garvin was another Pampa Junior High Coach who died not long after Coach P.

The school decided to create a plaque, remembering and honoring staff who leave too soon so they're never forgotten.

“I think it gives the students some hope to know that there’s teachers that really love them and I think our teachers really do and she was one that really showed it to the kids,” said Polasek.

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