Weingarten Speech Tying School Choice to Racism Sets Off Firestorm

House Committee Rejects Democrats’ Bid to Restore Education Funding, Protect Teacher Training

How’s This for a Yarn? School Bus Driver Crochets a Personalized Toy for Every Student on Her Route

A Phoenix Breakthrough: How 3 Massachusetts High Schools Are Helping Dropouts Become College-Bound Grads

Teacher Groups Frustrated With California ESSA Plan’s ‘Loose’ Definition of Ineffective Teachers

The 74 Interview: You Don’t Think Your Child Is Average & Harvard’s Todd Rose Doesn’t Either

Interactive: How Far Every State Has Gone to Update Education Policies Under the Every Student Succeeds Act

House Republicans Warn Education Dept. on ESSA Overreach as Democrats Lament Lack of Accountability Rules

More Attention to ELLs, Student Suspension, Fewer Test Days: NY Tweaks Its ESSA Plan

WATCH: These 100 HS Grads Made a Splash With Pomp, Circumstance — and a Jump in the Lake

12 Rhode Island Schools Vie for Chance to Become Their State’s 3 Personalized Learning Labs

Teacher Raises, Bathrooms, Vouchers: Texas Lawmakers Take Up Big School Fights in Special Legislative Session

Investigation: Forced Into Unneeded Remedial Classes, Some Community College Students Fail to Finish Degrees

A Summer Education Meltdown: Why Everyone in DC Is Mad About ESSA, Congress, Charters, Choice — or All of the Above

This Week’s ESSA News: Science Test Debate, a Career Readiness Blind Spot, and Massachusetts Has Work to Do

House Subcommittee Advances Education Funding Bill as Democrats Protest ‘Anti-Teacher’ Cuts

DeVos Hears of Sex Attacks at Colleges & K-12 Schools as Feds Weigh Changes to Title IX Evidence Rules

The $1,488 Back-to-School Bill: Backpack Index Tracks Rising Costs of Supplies, Fees for Band, Sports, Trips

House Committee Considers Education Spending Bill That Trims Trump’s Cuts, Drops Funding for Private Choice

Turning Red: New Jersey’s Well-Heeled Teachers Union Backs Trump Supporter Over State’s Top Democrat

‘I Will Be Your Valentine’: Navy Dad Surprises His 2 Daughters at School After More Than a Year at Sea

Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/fox5sandiego

February 12, 2017

Talking Points

Heartwarming school reunion for 2 daughters with Navy dad away at sea for more than a year

Navy dad surprises first-grade daughter, tells her, “I will be your valentine”

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

This article is one in a series at The 74 that profiles the heroes, victories, success stories and random acts of kindness to be found at schools all across America. Read more of our recent inspiring profiles at The74million.org/series/inspiring.
Abella Aleman was intently reading her first-grade class a Valentine’s Day letter about her love for her dad, Omar, a Navy sailor who had been deployed overseas for more than a year. So intently, she didn’t even notice when he crept into her Rancho San Diego Elementary School classroom and stood behind her chair.
As she wrapped up her letter with, “You are the greatest dad because you are so special. I miss you and I love you. Thank you for being my dad. Will you be my valentine?” a familiar voice — much to her surprise — answered, “I will be your valentine.”
As captured on video by Fox 5 San Diego, Abella called out, “Daddy!” and rushed to hug her father. The tears started to flow, and Abella pronounced the embrace “humongous.”
But Aleman wasn’t finished. He had another daughter to surprise — Alyssa, a student at nearby Hillsdale Middle School. As the kids there prepared for the start of a counseling assembly, Aleman walked into the room with open arms and an enormous smile for his older girl. Alyssa jumped up and ran to give her father a tremendous hug, calling out, “Daddy!” with both excitement and confusion.


“I thought it was a dream. I was so surprised that he was actually here,” Alyssa said. “I really missed him, and I just felt like life was more hard without him here.”
The girls had expected to see their dad home in March. But Cupid brought them a Valentine’s Day gift instead.