LOWELL, MASS. (WHDH) - An elementary school teacher in Lowell got the surprise of a lifetime Wednesday when her fiancé proposed to her while dressed as their school’s mascot during an assembly. 

The school community at Dr. Gertrude Bailey Elementary School was gathered for their Thanksgiving Trot assembly. Later speaking with 7NEWS, Heather DeLucia described her response after she was initially told she had won a raffle and called up to the stage.

“When I went up to get my prize, our principal Ms. Kimberly Clements said ‘Bailey Bulldog, our school mascot, has a special surprise for Ms. DeLucia today,’” DeLucia said.

When she turned around, the mascot had appeared carrying a wrapped present.

Inside the costume, DeLucia’s soon-to-be fiance Nick Hoar was ready to propose.

“I was like, ‘No way!’” DeLucia said. “‘This is not happening right now.’” 

Hoar and the entire school came together to help make the proposal happen. 

A team effort, Hoar said the process was not entirely without challenges. One person, Hoar said, needed to guide him while he was in the costume since the costume itself obstructed part of his vision. 

DeLucia said she was surprised Hoar was brave enough to propose in front of 400 students. 

All those students, though, were thrilled. Some former students also came back to the school for the special moment. 

“They were just so happy for us so it was nice to see some former students come back and connect and say congratulations to us,” DeLucia said.

DeLucia and Hoar have been together for eight years and plan to get married next fall.

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