STRATFORD - Stratford residents on Friday celebrated the opening of a special school named after a teacher killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.

The newest addition to the Stratford Academy comprises 14 classrooms with state-of-the-art facilities. Many who attended the grand opening say they were there to remember Stratford native Victoria Soto, who the school was named after.

"Victoria defines the word hero, and this school will ensure her sacrifice is never forgotten," says Stratford Mayor John Harkins.

Soto was killed in December 2012 while protecting her students during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Family members say that little things such as a classroom poster featuring a flamingo - Soto's favorite animal - or brightly colored walls reflect her personality and joy of teaching.

School official say the building is highly secure, although they would not detail its security features.