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Elementary School Staff Surprises Peoria Student Teacher After Graduation Was Canceled

Countless Arizona events have been canceled this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That has unfortunately included major milestones like weddings and graduations. But the staff of one Arizona elementary school made sure their student teacher, who would’ve graduated from Grand Canyon University last weekend, didn’t go uncelebrated.

Claudia Vasquez has worked at Desert Valley Elementary School in Peoria for about 12 years. Tonja Neve is the principal there.

“[Vasquez] spent most of those years running our front office like attendance clerk and registrar and those types of things and then she decided that she wanted to go back to school and get her bachelor’s," Neve said.

Vasquez was so disappointed about her graduation being canceled, the Desert Valley staff had to do something.

“She’s just the most big-hearted, kind person," Neve said.

The staff surprised Vasquez with her cap and gown and led her out to a socially distanced procession at the school’s outdoor amphitheater.

Vasquez hopes to get a permanent teaching position at Desert Valley in the future.

→  Get The Latest News On COVID-19 In Arizona 

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.