Tribute school opens: Victoria Soto School

Published: August 29, 2015

Tribute school opens: Victoria Soto School, Stratford native Victoria Soto was celebrated Friday morning in a grand-opening ceremony of the new school off Birdseye Street that was named in her honor.

Soto was a first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School and died trying to protect her students in the December 2012 tragedy in Newtown.

Hundreds came out for the ceremony, including the Soto family.

Victoria’s sister, Jillian Soto, said her family was “honored beyond words that this beautiful school bears the name of our sister and our town’s hero, Vicki,” according to the Stratford Star. “Vicki would have been so proud to have (taught) in this school. The vibrant colors and open hallways invoke a sense of excitement and makes it feel like a fun place to learn.”

The school replaces Honeyspot House and will be part of the Stratford Academy Magnet School complex on Birdseye Street.

It cost $18.3 million to build and the state picked up 56 percent of the cost. The school is 36,000 square feet and has 14 classrooms – with every one having a smart board, Wifi, and a cordless headset sound system. There is also a gymnasium, a cafeteria, a library, and art room.

The school will house 220 pre-kindergarten through second graders this fall and the capacity is 290 students.

Members of the Soto family helped design a green mural inside the building that highlights the words Soto asked of all: “Be Kind,” according to the Star.

Mayor John A. Harkins was the emcee for the event and posted on Facebook that he was “Honored, humbled and privileged” to do so.

“The school will serve as a fitting tribute to a life dedicated to helping others. Thank you, Vicki,” Harkins wrote.


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