A Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher who died trying to protect her students during the December 2012 shooting was honored Friday with the opening of an elementary school that bears her name.
Victoria Soto was among six staff members and 20 children killed the morning of Dec. 14, 2012. She is remembered as a hero.
The Victoria Soto School marked its grand opening Friday in Stratford, where Soto attended high school.
"From something ugly, something beautiful has come," said her father, Carlos Soto.
Hundreds gathered Friday morning outside the main entrance of the elementary school, which will serve students in pre-kindergarten through second grade.
"It’s a sound legacy. And I hope that that legacy will include these children realizing that there’s resilience, regardless of what might come their way," Stratford superintendent Dr. Janet Robinson said at the grand opening Friday.
Inside the school are bright colors and reminders to be kind – along with signs of flamingos, Victoria Soto's favorite animal.
"There are flamingos on the bulletin boards, there are flamingo books in the classrooms in each class," explained Victoria Soto's sister, Jillian Soto, adding that every teacher has a pink chair. "She would be in awe over that because it’s absolutely a flamingo theme inside that school for her."
The $18-million school replaced the Honeyspot House as part of the Stratford Academy complex. It's set to open Sept. 3.
"I know that she’s up there right now with her kids in heaven," said Carlos Soto.