Milwaukee educator recognized for teaching students 'about just being their best selves'

MILWAUKEE -- We all have at least one teacher who made a huge impact on our lives. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, a group of people took the time to recognize one of those special educators.

Inside Milwaukee's Samuel Clemens Elementary School, Ms. Aruna Halala-Vishudh is going about her Tuesday. But this day is anything but ordinary.

"So today was kind of the accumulation of all she has done for our students," said Garry Lawson, Principal at Samuel Clemens Elementary School.

And Ms. Halala-Vishudh is not your average teacher. Her bosses describe her as an educator with a passion for teaching.

"She teaches them about integrity. She teaches them about respect. She teaches them about just being their best selves," Lawson said.

Her kids, as Ms. Halala-Vishudh calls them, describe her as their hero.

"I'm grateful I have you," said King Pollard, a student.

On Tuesday, Ms. Halala-Vishudh got a surprise award for going above and beyond. In addition to being an outstanding educator, she is also recognized by the Marcus Center for her commitment to teaching her students about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"She has participated in the Dr. Martin Luther King celebration for at least the last 15 years," Lawson said.

It was a kind gesture to catch the teacher off guard.

"It's unbelievable, I'm a very humble person and it truly touches my heart to make me think that people have taken the time out of their day to come and recognize what I do," said Halala-Vishudh.

An normalcy slowly returned to the classroom, Ms. Halala-Vishudh got back to doing what she said she does best.

"My purpose is, I know, is to educate children," Halala-Vishudh said.

In addition to the flowers and a plaque recognizing her achievements, Halala-Vishudh also received a pair of tickets to an upcoming Marcus Center performance.