"I had chills going in there. I haven't been back inside the classroom for 25 years," said Jeannie Moreno, who used to be a student of Escalante. "It's an amazing feeling to be a part of this history."
The former math teacher died March 30 from cancer at the age of 79.
Escalante taught calculus at Garfield for 17 years to many low income inner-city students. His success in getting students to pass advanced placement tests inspired the movie "Stand and Deliver."
"I think the one thing that people will remember about him and people should remember about it is that he had a tremendous love to give to others and to help others understand their lives," said actor Edward James Olmos, who portrayed Escalante in the film.
Funeral ceremonies will be held Saturday and will include a procession from Garfield High School to Weingart Stadium at East Los Angeles College.