NAACP Calls for an End to For-Profit Charter Schools and Wider Rollback on Charter Sector Autonomy

Minnesota Educators Approve ‘Toolkit’ to Protect Transgender Youth From Discrimination at School

President Trump Donates $100,000 of His Salary to Education Department; Still Wants $9B Cut to ED Budget

New Fordham ESSA Report (Happily) Finds States Moving Beyond NCLB Limitations With New Education Plans

Exclusive: Data Show Charter School Students Graduating From College at Three to Five Times National Average

New Rankings: Most & Least Educated Cities — a Tale of Two Californias

NAACP to Deliver Blow to Charter Schools Today After Public Hearings Critics Say Were Setups

7 Things to Know About How a New Task Force in Los Angeles Is Looking to Improve the City’s Schools

Nobel Winner’s Research Shows Home Nurse Visits for New Moms Boost Children’s Cognitive Skills

‘This Is About Power and Control’: Advocates Push Back on Weingarten for Linking School Choice to Segregation

Editorial Board Lauds Louisiana Superintendent John White — as State Forces Him to Work Month to Month

Ohio’s ESSA Reboot: State School Leaders Make Big Pivot After Outcry Over Testing Requirements

‘It Gave Us a Choice When We Didn’t Have One’: Private School Choice Participants Flood Capitol to Tell Their Stories

This Week in ESSA: Ohio, Montana, Oklahoma, New York Advance Plans as Group Promotes Evidence-Based Rules

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

‘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.