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Jimmy Kimmel hosted an emotional reunion between 'Abbott Elementary' creator and her sixth-grade teacher

"Abbott Elementary" creator Quinta Brunson named her hit TV show after her beloved sixth grade teacher.

Few people have as profound an effect on a child's life as a teacher does. Most of us have educators who stand out in our memories for the way they taught us, encouraged us, challenged us or nurtured us. The powerful impact of a good teacher is priceless, which is why a surprise reunion between "Abbott Elementary" creator Quinta Brunson and her sixth-grade teacher, Ms. Abbott, is giving people all the warm-hearted feelings.

"Abbott Elementary" is an ABC mockumentary sitcom that debuted in December and has been getting rave reviews. It follows the daily life of teachers, administrators and students in a Philadelphia public school. People are loving it—especially teachers.

Jimmy Kimmel brought the show's creator Quinta Brunson onto his late-night show for an interview, and as they got chatting he pointed out that "Abbott Elementary" was named after a former teacher of Brunson's—Ms. Abbott from sixth grade. And when she showed up on a huge screen behind them, Brunson almost immediately started crying.


The joyful exchange they had was sweet, but it also illustrated how incredible teachers can be. Educators who have been in the classroom for a whole career have taught hundreds, if not thousands, of kids, and yet they can so often remember details about individual students who came through their classroom.

Watch:

The first thing Ms. Abbott said was, "I'm so proud of you!" Of course. Not only did Ms. Abbott remember Quinta Brunson, but she gave details about what kind of student she was.

"When she came into my class, she was really shy, timid," Abbott said. But she challenged her students and built up their confidence, and Brunson blossomed and "came out of her shell" during that school year.

Ms. Abbott told Kimmel that she was preparing to retire after teaching for nearly 30 years, and Kimmel surprised her with a special gift—an all-expenses paid, first-class, 5-day trip for two.

"You don't have to take Quinta with you, but she kind of did name the show after you," Kimmel joked.

As a teacher, seeing your students grow up to succeed in whatever they put their mind and heart into is rewarding enough. But every teacher who dedicates themselves to their students deserves this kind of extra gift as a thank-you for the work and the care they put into helping students grow and learn. And having an entire TV show named after you? That's just icing on the cake.

Congratulations to Quinta Brunson on the success of "Abbott Elementary" and to Ms. Abbott for the deserved recognition she's received from it. Teachers are heroes who should be highlighted like this more often, so seeing this joyful reunion and celebration is lovely to see.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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