…was first and foremost the loving first child of Donna and Carlos Soto of Stratford, CT. She was born on November 4, 1985, and was a joy to all who knew her from the moment she was born. She was a fun-loving sister to Jillian, Carlee and Carlos Mathew. Most important to her were the “SOFACRO” gang, as the cousins call themselves. Vicki was the glue that held this family together. She was the one organizing all family events, including her favorite holiday, Christmas. She was the only one who could pick out that perfect tree! Secret Santa was a family tradition, as were outings with her cousins as often as they could all get together. She was a ball of energy and was always up for anything! Vicki had many friends and saw them often, but no one could ever replace her Rachel. They were like sisters since meeting in their early days of college. She also loved her black lab Roxie, who she would dress up – yes, dress up – and call her “Rita,” “Rita Ann,” “Rooney” and “Angela,” for no apparent reason.
Not only was she beautiful on the outside, with those gorgeous blue eyes, but she was smart. Some may even say “perfect” and funny with a laugh that was contagious. Although she was taken from us far too soon, Vicki lived life every day and knew beyond her years how precious life truly is. Her mantra was: Live, Laugh, Love. Every single day Vicki did just that. She lived life passionately, laughed often and loved unconditionally.
Ms. Soto, as she was known to her first grade students, was a passionate, dedicated, creative, funny, loving Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher. Every day she was excited and eager to be in her classroom teaching her students. Her level of commitment to education went above and beyond. Her energy and enthusiasm radiated off of her, and it was clear she loved being in her classroom. From Math to Reading, Ms. Soto had a higher understanding of how children learned, and taught such that all the children in her classroom were growing each and every day. She prided herself on being the “cool” teacher at school and loved to make the kids smile and laugh. Spirit Week was one of her favorite times – dressing up in mismatched outfits, crazy hair or anything to make the kids laugh. She was the first one at school every day and the last to leave, planning each day to be the best it could be. She was passionate about teaching, and our hope is, through this fund, she will continue to inspire others to teach as well.
In her own words from her Facebook page:
“Take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you’ve never been hurt. Life comes with no guarantee, no time outs, no second chances. You just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone’s hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. Don’t be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.”