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Surprise Squad honors special Spanish teacher in Granby

This month, it’s a Spanish teacher in Granby who’s in for a special surprise and it was one of our biggest and loudest yet!
Updated: May. 25, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT
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GRANBY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Western Mass. Hyundai Dealers Surprise Squad is back recognizing teachers who go above and beyond. This month, it’s a Spanish teacher in Granby who’s in for a special surprise and it was one of our biggest and loudest yet!

What brought hundreds of Granby Junior-Senior High schoolers out into the parking lot in the middle of the day?

“She’s such a great teacher. She’s really always there for everyone no matter what. She’s such a motherly figure in the school,” said Granby Junior-Senior High School junior Abby Huebner.

It’s all to honor a special Spanish teacher with help from the Western Mass. Hyundai Dealers Surprise Squad.

“We’re all here for Molly today,” said Gary Rome, president of Gary Rome Hyundai.

Brian Houser, general manager of Balise Hyundai, added, “In just a couple minutes, she’s going to come around that corner and all the kids are going to surprise her.”

“She’ll be out any minute. She has no idea we’re all waiting here for her,” said Carla Cosenzi, president of Country Hyundai.

However, the wait soon came to an end as longtime teacher Molly Pinkney walked out to a cheering crowd.

“I’m speechless,” Pinkney said.

We had more surprises in store for Pinkney, who started to piece things together.

“This could be why Ms. Jordan asked what I would love for my classroom!?” Pinkney asked.

A stunned Pinkney stopped to take in the crowd again. Indeed, it was Principal Alison Jordan who nominated her as an outstanding educator.

“She’s one of the first ones to give back to our students and especially when you think about what to give…Everything we were thinking about, I was like no, she will just give it right back,” Jordan said.

She will get to give back with a $500 for school supplies presented by Houser. She’ll also get to treat herself.

“…And we also have a $500 spending spree for the Village Commons for you to enjoy,” Rome added.

For 30 years, Pinkney has taught Spanish and English language learners.

“I just think I try every day to be here and be positive and show the students how much I care about them,” Pinkney said.

It does not unnoticed by students, like Huebner, who has had a class with Pinkney every year since seventh grade.

“She always has such fun activities planned in the environment of the classroom is so awesome,” Huebner explained.

In the classroom and out, Jordan said Pinkney always brings positivity.

“She is our athlete’s biggest fan. She is the cheerleader in the room, and she even gets her students up at 7:30 in the morning to dance,” Jordan said.

A student-volunteer helped Pinkney show off her meringue skills. It’s just one of the ways she makes Spanish class fun!

“I may not be the best dancer, but I do put it out there,” Pinkney explained.

The Western Mass. Hyudani Dealers were blown away by the students’ reaction.

“It’s obviously a testament to how great Molly really is. I mean, this is hundreds of kids here today. It’s fantastic, so on behalf of the Western Mass. Hyundai Dealers were so happy that we can recognize Molly for all the work that she does every day,” Rome noted.

Cosenzi said, “I think you can see from all the students, their enthusiasm, their reaction that Mrs. Pinkney completely deserves everything that she got today.

Houser noted, “…And to bring in other cultures as far as the Spanish dancing and to bring another culture into these kids’ lives is a fantastic thing to do for these kids.”

The special recognition left Pinkney dancing on air and her biggest cheerleaders just as happy.