Hoisington, 28, 'expected the best' for pupils
Abbie L. Hoisington's students
say it the best.
"She taught us about honesty,
confidence, kindness and respect for one another and ourselves," said one.
"She cared about us and
expected the best for us and never gave up on us," said another.
Ms. Hoisington, 28, of
Cranston, was a special-education teacher at Burrillville High School. Though
she had been there less than a year, the talkative teacher had made many
Ms. Hoisington's interest in
special education began in high school when her teachers encouraged her to get
involved with the Special Education Club, her family said. Soon after, she
volunteered to work with the Special Olympics. Then she majored in special
education at the University of Southern Connecticut.
But she didn't just teach
academics. She taught life skills. Ms. Hoisington took her students grocery
shopping and gave them cooking lessons. She took them bowling, and sailing on
her parents' boat. She and her students made soap and sold it to help raise
money for classroom accessories, including a refrigerator they had hoped to
She was a constant advocate for
"She was a pit bull for
something she believed in," said her mother, Bonnie A. Hoisington, of
Ms. Hoisington wasn't a fan the
Great White, the band playing at The Station the night of the fire. She went
because her friend, Lisa D'Andrea, a special education teacher in Cranston,
asked her to come, Mrs. Hoisington said. Ms. D'Andrea, 42, of Barrington, also
died in the fire.
Ms. Hoisington loved music and
stepdancing. She collected everything: clothes, CDs, perfumes, and for some
reason, pigs. Her family left a porcelain pig at the fire site in memory of
But mostly, Ms. Hoisington
lived for her students, her mother said.
One of her former pupils,
Samuel "Sammy" F. Muskelly, 18, will sing at her funeral today.
Sammy said Ms. Hoisington put
up with his 13-year-old bad attitude and always kept him motivated when he was
in her class at Hope Middle School in Providence. When he invited her to his
plays or talent shows, she would always attend.
"All the high notes that I
can't hit, I was hitting them because she came out there for me," he said.
Sammy still knows her telephone
number by heart.
"She was like E.F. Hutton to
me. When she talked, I listened," he said. "I knew what she was telling me was
the right way."
-- Journal staff writer
source Providence Journal