Vicki Soto's Graduating Class Establishes Fund for Fallen Hero Teacher

Newtown teacher Victoria 'Vicki' Soto died so that her student could live. Members of her graduating high school class, Stratford High School Class of 2003, want to make sure that's not forgotten.


The Stratford High School Class of 2003 has established a memorial fund for their former classmate Victoria "Vicki" Soto, who died in the mass shooting Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Donations will go toward providing flowers and/or a monetary donation for the funeral service; creating a memorial at Stratford High School; and eventually a scholarship fund in Soto's name, according to Lela Castaneda, one of the organizers.

"Vicki was an incredible person," Castaneda said. "She was always kind to everyone. She had more courage than anyone I know."

Soto's story of courage has traveled the world over.

Upon hearing the first rounds of gunfire in an adjacent classroom, the 27-year-old teacher scrambled to hide her first-grade students, 15 or 16 kids, before the gunman made his way to her room, a source told the Hartford Courant.

After entering the room, the shooter confronted and killed Soto but the students were saved because the gunman did not see them in the room, the source told the newspaper.

"She died a hero, and we need to make sure that no one will ever forget that," Castaneda said. "The entire class of 2003 is proud to have known such an incredibly brave soul."

Click here to make a donation (they are not yet tax-deductible but the fund is in the process of becoming a nonprofit), or here to visit the memorial fund's Facebook page.

Questions can be forwarded to: shs2003memorialfund@gmail.com.


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