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KATY -- A Houston-area woman is honoring her college roommate who was killed in Friday s school massacre in Newton, Conn.

Victoria Soto, 27, was one of the teachers killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary. Now, her friend, Kristin Polakow, is trying to honor her memory.

Once I made the connection it was there, I was just like I hope she s ok, said Kristin, a sixth grade science teacher at Cardiff Junior High School in Katy.

But, she wasn t. Kristin s college roommate, Victoria, died trying to protect her first grade students by hiding them in a closet.

I just want to say thank you to her and how proud I am of her, said Kristin. Even if we haven t been in constant communication, it s just what she did was amazing.

Vicki -- as she s called-- is being hailed a hero for saving children on a day when so many didn t make it.

She is truly a hero, and it s very likely because of her that our son is with us today, said Diane Licata, the mother of an elementary student who survived.

Kristen is collecting money to split between the families of the victims and an education fund set up in Victoria s name.

You always remember your elementary school teachers for whatever reason, said Kristin. These kids that were lucky enough to have her; I'm hopeful that they realize that she was their guardian angel.

If you d like to donate to the fund, check donations can be mailed to:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund

c/o Newtown Savings Bank

39 Main Street

Newtown, CT 06470

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