DeVos Clashes With Democrats Over Federal Protections in School Choice Budget Proposals

Weekend Education Reads: 12 Worthwhile Links About Students and Schools You May Have Missed

Wisconsin Lawmaker Tells Betsy DeVos That Vouchers Don’t Help Rural Kids. Research Shows He’s Right

You’re Not an ‘Interest Group’ Just Because You Believe School Funding Matters

How 2 Business-Savvy Nonprofits Are Breathing New Life Into Philadelphia’s Struggling Catholic Schools

State of American Pre-K: New Report Shows 1.5 Million Kids (and 1 in 20 3-Year-Olds) Enrolled

Trump Ed Budget Fleshes Out Choice Proposal, Justifies Deep Cuts

Mayoral Control Fight Heats Up: NYS Assembly Gives De Blasio 2 More Years, But Senate Demands More Data on School Spending

The Boys Wouldn’t Listen, So 9-Year-Old Girl Started Her Own Robotics Team — and Won Big

Candidates Are Drawing School Choice Battle Lines in Campaign to Succeed New Jersey Gov. Christie

Start School Later: New Study Shows That More Sunlight Before Classes Improves Test Scores

Facing Pressure From Conservatives, Texas Again Looks to Ban Transgender Bathroom Use

DeVos Emphasizes States’ Prerogative on School Choice, Gives No Details on Federal Expansion

Inside the School Lunch Affordability Gap: Too Affluent for Free Food, Can’t Afford $1.75 Meals

Long-Vacant NYC Courthouse Will Get New Life as Success Academy’s Second High School

1 in 5 Washington State HS Students Considered Suicide, 9% Attempted It, Shocking New Report Finds

Key Congressional Ally Backs Trump Admin’s School Choice Plan

Why the LA School Board Swung Pro-Reform: Did a Late Vote on ‘Charter Killer’ Bill Cost Board Chief His Job?

Federal Judge Denies NYC KIPP School’s Effort to Block Arbitration of Teacher Grievances

New Report Shows NYC’s Alternative to Charter Schools — Supported by De Blasio and UFT — Aren’t Getting Results

‘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.