Benefield: ‘She meant the world to me.’ Beloved Santa Rosa art teacher dies at 50

8 September 2023

When Marissa Freeman showed up on the Ridgway High School campus her freshman year, she had five academic credits to her name and was emotionally depleted.

She had dropped out of the ArtQuest program at Santa Rosa High and felt damaged by, as she described it, experiencing art as a source of competition and judgment.

Then she walked into Heather Hagle’s art classroom at Ridgway.

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