School Climate & Safety

Heroic Newtown Teacher Soto Honored With School Name

By Maggie DeBlasis — August 31, 2015 1 min read
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A Connecticut town is honoring one of the teachers killed in the Sandy Hook school shootings by renaming a school after her.

The Victoria Soto School in Stratford, Conn., was dedicated on August 28. Soto, who was from Stratford, was killed at age 27 while trying to protect her students during the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012. Five other staff members and 20 students were also killed when gunman Adam Lanza went on a rampage at school that day.

Stratford town council members voted unanimously in January 2013 to rename the school, formerly known as Honeyspot House, after the 1st grade teacher who, according to a resolution, “exemplified the very best qualities of an elementary school educator and whose passion for teaching was evident in every moment of her professional life.”

About 200 preschool through 2nd grade students will attend the school, which features three wings with airfoil ceilings that allow natural daylight in and bullet resistant glass.

“The natural light and colors reflect the joy of learning that will now be the legacy of Victoria Soto for generations of Stratford children,” Dr. Janet Robinson, Stratford Superintendent of Schools, told local news station WTNH. Robinson was Newtown’s superintendent at the time of the shooting.

Soto’s bravery has inspired numerous commemorative honors, from scholarships to street names. In February 2013, President Obama awarded Soto and the other five staff members who died at Sandy Hook with the Presidential Citizens Medal. Soto’s family has also set up the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund, which sponsors an annual 5K run in Stratford and awards two scholarships to local high school seniors pursuing careers in education.

Image: Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Victoria Soto, in a photo provided by Eastern Connecticut University.—AP-File

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.