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Teacher gives student shoes off his feet to walk across stage at graduation

Vohn Lewis, a teacher at an elementary school in Richmond, Virginia, gave the shoes off his feet to a fifth grader whose shoe broke shortly before graduation.
/ Source: TODAY

An elementary school teacher was going to make sure a fifth grader got to walk across the stage at graduation, even if it meant giving him the shoes off his feet.

Vohn Lewis, a substitute teacher at George Mason Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia, came to the rescue Wednesday when a student's shoe broke shortly before the graduation ceremony.

The school's guidance counselor, Natalie Battle, brought the distraught student to art teacher Bradley Kopelove to see if there were any supplies to fix the shoe. That's when Lewis stepped in.

He said that he and the boy both wear a size 10, so he took his shoes off and made sure the student got to walk across the stage to get his diploma.

"I wasn't thinking. I just moved with my heart," Lewis told NBC Washington.

"People will never forget how you make them feel. Character is so important in life, you should always be willing to give and always willing to be a blessing to someone else."

Kopelove captured the moment in a series of photos that she posted on Facebook.

"Mr. Lewis gave the shoes off his feet to help a student who's shoe broke right before 5th grade graduation!" she wrote. "#thisiswhatarealmanlookslike #integrity#rolemodel made my day! Thank you for looking out for our boys and creating a positive moment during a potentially terrible one for our student."

Lewis has been working at George Mason Elementary since only earlier this year but has already made an impact, the school said.

"He demonstrates my mantra 'Children First!'" principal Rose Ferguson told TODAY in a statement. "He's often observed encouraging students from all grade levels, not just from his assigned class. He serves with a true heart of passion! We're not surprised at his actions on yesterday and we're proud to have him as a part of the Mason Family!"