Vicky Soto, 2012’s Person Of The Year

Vicky Soto PBH 2012 Person Of The Year

There were many heroes that Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary. Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung who lunged at the madmen. The Vice Principal who dialed 911. The unknown staffer who flipped on the intercom switch so the school could hear the shooting. The janitor who dashed down the halls warning everyone of the madman approaching rampage. The Newtown police first responders who rushed into the school. And Miss Soto.

And they remind us. Each of them. In their own way: Heroes don’t always lead nations. Or wear five stars. Heroes teach second grade English. And maybe wear cheap sunglasses. They remind us: Heroism has no dress code or training. The heroes of Sandy Hook Elementary weren’t born. They were forged in that moment. When their bodies screamed run, their minds said, the kids.

Sandy Hook Students

Sandy Hook Elementary heroism was the valor of everyday elementary school teachers who knew they faced certain death if they stayed. And they stayed.

Miss Soto and Principal Hochsprung went down knowing they wouldn’t get back up so that others might. So that others might return to their families and live to fight the agony we, as a nation, have felt too many times before.

Miss Soto knew she would not live when she shut the last closet door. But she stood her ground in the middle of her classroom. Waiting. She stared down the gunman when he burst inside the room. And Miss Soto’s final act was the most selfless one of all: She dove in front of the bullets of a madman with guns so her little angels might not.

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Heroes collect Christmas ornaments, plastic flamingoes. They play Little Mermaid’s “Kiss the Girl” for a full semester until lovesick roommates get better. “When Victoria hugged you,” roommate Rachel Schiavone said, “she put her whole heart and soul into every hug she gave.” It was Miss Soto’s ordinary personal affectations that inspired Miss Soto’s extraordinary personal affections.

Miss Soto did not lead nations, guide armies, or found a Fortune 500 tech company. Miss Soto taught second graders English. And in the moment of utmost despair, Miss Soto stood with evil incarnated and didn’t back down.

Because heroism comes in cheap sunglasses. Because selflessness is taught in 2nd grade classrooms, Miss Soto is the 2012 Person of the Year.

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Be sure to check out Prose Before Hos’ 2010 and 2011 “Person of the Year”:

2010 Person Of The Year: Julian Assange

Prose Before Hos’ 2011 Person Of The Year: Mohamed Bouazizi

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  1. Tulipa says:

    Mott the Hoople and the game of Life yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
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    If you believe there’s nothing up his sleeve
    Then nothing is cool

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    Now, Andy did you hear about this one?
    Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
    Andy are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
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    If you believed they put a man on the moon
    Man on the moon
    If you believe there’s nothing up his sleeve
    Then nothing is cool

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    Now, Andy did you hear about this one?
    Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
    Andy are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
    Are we losing touch?

    If you believed they put a man on the moon
    Man on the moon
    If you believe there’s nothing up his sleeve
    Then nothing is cool

    If you believed they put a man on the moon
    Man on the moon
    If you believe there’s nothing up his sleeve
    Then nothing is cool

    If you believed they put a man on the moon
    Man on the moon
    If you believe there’s nothing up his sleeve
    Then nothing is cool

    If you believed they put a man on the moon
    Man on the moon
    If you believe there’s nothing up his sleeve
    Then nothing is cool

    Man on the Moon by R.E.M. Remember?

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