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Slain Newtown teacher honored with renamed school

STRATFORD, Conn. The Stratford Town Council approved a proposal Monday night that will rename a local school in honor of a teacher who died trying to protect her students during last month's Newtown school shooting, CBS Hartford affiliate WFSB-TV reports.

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The mayor of Stratford proposed renaming the HoneySpot Elementary School in memory of Sandy Hook Elementary teacher Victoria Soto.

The unanimous decision by the council was greeted with a standing ovation and applause. Soto's sister, Jillian Soto, along with other family members, attended the meeting.

"I love my sister, and I know she would be happy with this," Jillian Soto said.

Members wanted to add a second resolution on gun violence, but the chair refused to add it to the agenda, saying the night was about honoring Soto.

Soto grew up in Stratford and has been hailed as a hero for hiding her first-grade students before Adam Lanza, 20, entered her classroom and shot her and some of her students.

"She is a hero, and she's always been my hero since day one," said Jillian Soto. "She's my older sister, and I've always called her a hero. She's my big sister, and, you know, this doesn't surprise me in anyway that she was a hero in this tragedy."

Soto graduated from Stratford High School before a pursuing her dream of teaching by earning a dual degree from Eastern Connecticut State University.

The resolution refers to what she did last month as courageous and self-sacrificial. People in town told WFSB-TV that they agree with that statement.

"I think it's a good idea," said Juliet Stead of Stratford. "I think it would be really nice and mean a lot to the family. Anyone who says it won't be, why not?"

Officials said they expect to break ground on the school this summer.

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