Teacher surprised by trip to Vietnam Wall

Bradshaw Mountain High School social studies teacher George Ponte thought he was going to an assembly to talk to the senior class about appropriate behavior for graduation. But when he got there, he was surprised by a former student who had come to make one of the teacher’s lifelong dreams come true.

Chris Ames, a student of Ponte’s 16 years ago always remembered that his teacher wanted to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to honor a lost friend. Ames is now a U.S. Marine and he created a GoFundMe campaign to raise the money to send his former teacher to Washington D.C. to see the memorial. Current and former students, teachers, administrators and community members in Prescott Valley, Arizona kept their fundraising efforts a secret from Ponte.

In front of a cheering crowd of students and over 100 alumni, Ames explained what they’d done and that they’d raised $17,300 for Ponte’s trip to the memorial. "I know I’m having a positive effect,” the teacher says, “but something like this, it really blows my mind cause it’s like, wow, I didn’t realize I had that deep of an effect on all these people I taught all these years."

Source: USA Today


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