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Northbrook Elementary surprises teacher deploying to Afghanistan

Northbrook Elementary staff and Maria Torres
Northbrook Elementary students and staff threw a surprise send-off for fifth-grade teacher Maria Torres before she deployed to Afghanistan. 

More than 500 Northbrook Elementary students and staff “clapped out” fifth-grade teacher Maria Torres on Tuesday, March 3, before she deploys to Afghanistan. Tech. Sgt. Torres, who serves in the Air Force Reserves, has been a teacher at the elementary for four years. 

“We are sending Maria out with a big Texas goodbye to show her we are grateful for her service,” said principal Maggie Highlen. “She is amazing with her students, and the students relate to her well.” 

The event was a surprise to Torres. She was joined by her husband, her children and fifth-grade students and teachers to listen to remarks from district leaders. Then the Prairie Vista Middle School band played and followed Torres through the hallways at the end of the school day. Kindergarten through fourth-grade classes lined up outside their rooms cheering for the reservist.