Cafeteria principal Yanet Lopez was greeted on Tuesday by a room filled with students and staff at Prairie Vale Elementary School in Edmond, Oklahoma, as they celebrated her U.S. citizenship test in waving a small American flag.
The video was taken by school principal Michelle Anderson, who said Newsweek that Lopez, who worked for the school for three years, had no idea she was about to be celebrated for her accomplishment she accomplished on Monday.
“I sent the school nurse over there [to Lopez] and I said, ‘hey, go get Miss Yanet and I’m going to get everyone out into the lobby,’ “Anderson said.” So she [the nurse] went over there and said, “Hey Michelle needs you. And it was like, ‘Am I in trouble?’ and the nurse said, “No, you’re okay, I need you to come with me,” and by the time they got out into the hall, the kids were in the hall clapping.
Anderson called the celebration the most adorable moment she has ever seen.
“I was crying. She was crying. All the teachers were crying and the kids were hugging and talking and clapping and chanting the USA,” Anderson said. “It was just a really amazing sight to see and I was so happy we filmed it because it was too precious not to.”
While the celebration came as a surprise to Lopez, it surprised the school itself according to Anderson who said Lopez had not previously mentioned that she was going to take her citizenship test.
“She ended up finding out on Monday that she was successful, and we were all so thrilled to pieces,” Anderson said. “One of the things we would like to do in our school is celebrate the achievements of people, whether it is the children, the staff or the school in general.”
The school made sure to celebrate Lopez’s accomplishment on their Facebook page where the video and photos from the moment were posted.
“Every morning Mrs. Yanet walks into the office and proclaims ‘Hello, lovely ladies’ and with a smile and a laugh she always starts the day with a positive message!” Reads a post written by Anderson on the page. School Facebook. “I am so excited for Ms. Yanet and making one of her dreams come true by passing her citizenship test! We laughed that she would know more than those of us born in the United States. I am honored to work with one of America’s finest citizens. know!”
Anderson said Lopez was loved at Prairie Vale Elementary School and the school strives to advance members of its community.