By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — A principal got a socially-distanced surprise from a group of student athletes in Pilsen Sunday for his contribution to the community.

Victor Iturralde was honored as part of National Inspirational Role Models Month.

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Iturralde is the principal of Eric Solorio Academy High School, at 5400 S. St. Louis Ave. in Gage Park, which he helped open in 2010 to improve education opportunities on the city’s South Side.

Solorio is now one of the top public schools in Chicago.

Students praised Iturralde’s dedication to learning, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“Mr. Iturralde is committed, determined, and dedicated to see a successful student on and off the field,” a student said.

“I’m so grateful for the love and support that I’ve received without my career, and I just hope that we can continue to make it through these difficult days and these extraordinary times – especially for our young people,” Iturralde said.

The principal said he was touched by the honor, since he recently lost a loved one to COVID-19, and just got out of the hospital himself after emergency surgery.

The group presented Solorio with a $500 check to give to the charity of his choice, and tickets to a White Sox game.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff