“06880” reader and grateful mom Alia Afshar writes:
I would like to nominate Saugatuck Elementary School 5h grade teacher Valentina Tran for the Unsung Hero award.
Though she is relatively new to teaching, Ms. Tran is extraordinary. She has gone above and beyond for my daughter, and I am sure many other SES students too.
Like many COVID refugees, my daughters and I landed in Westport a year ago. It’s hard being the new kid, especially a girl in 5th grade. Everything was different from her school in Brooklyn.
From Day 1, Ms. Tran took my daughter under her wing. She made sure she always had someone to sit with, eat lunch with, and even ride the bus with on field trips.
During the early spring, Ms. Tran organized a playdate after school for my daughter and a former student (now in 6th grade) who she thought my daughter would click with. This was her first school playdate, so you can imagine what that meant.
Toward the end of this school year, we realized my daughter would miss her moving up ceremony due to a planned trip. She was disappointed, but once again Ms. Tran went the extra mile for her.
She organized a surprise graduation last week with her entire class. She had her own graduation program printed. Classmates sang to her, gave speeches, gave her an award and flowers, even a homemade bracelet.
Needless to say, I was in tears. It meant the world to my daughter to feel accepted, part of her 5th grade community, and frankly, special.
Ms. Tran orchestrated all of this brilliantly, on top of all of her end of school year duties and taking great care of 20+ children. I am in awe of her dedication, kindness, thoughtfulness, and willingness to go the extra mile for her students.
We are so lucky to have Ms. Tran in the Westport school system. She is a true hero to my family and I’m sure many others too.
So many Westport educators go the extra mile for their students. Ms. Tran is one of many. But we’re honored to honor her today, as “06880”‘s Unsung Hero.
If you know an Unsung Hero, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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