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Contributing her time and skills, Gretchen Corrales earned a reputation as being a “talented athlete, a gifted artist, an inspiring teacher” while serving with an enrichment program at Glenfeliz Elementary in Atwater Village. On Monday, students and staff at the Atwater school were shocked to learn that 53-year-old Corrales, a former high school track star and coach at Cal State L.A., had been murdered a week earlier, her body found in a car south of downtown Los Angeles. Police allege that Corrales was killed by her estranged husband, former professional boxer Gilberto Corrales.
Corrales was part of Glenfeliz Kids, a learning enrichment program sponsored by the Friends of Glenfeliz Elementary, a school support group. She began as a volunteer with the school and the enrichment program, which later hired Corrales because she had become so popular with the students, said Emiliana Dore with Friends of Glenfeliz. Dore, in a posting on the friends’ group Facebook page said:
We are all broken-hearted over this tragedy. Gretchen was a truly amazing person. A talented athlete, a gifted artist, an inspiring teacher and a loving friend, sister, daughter and mother. She touched so many people’s lives. We miss her so much and we are incredibly grateful to Gretchen for everything she brought to our school, our Glenfeliz Kids program and to our community.
A memorial 5K Run and tree planting is being planned in honor of Corrales.