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Former Winnetonka student brings fashion sense from Rodeo Drive back to her alma mater

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Winnetonka High School alum returned to the school on Thursday to share her experiences in the fashion industry, but her journey to Rodeo Drive was a rocky one.

Tracy Montes was back at Winnetonka a little more than a decade after she graduated, speaking to fashion students of her former teacher Tricia Rosario.

'The kids that take our classes, sometimes we`re the reason they come to school, sometimes we`re the reason they are even here every day,” the teacher said.

Montes had fled what she calls a bad home situation in California for North Kansas City.

“It was so hard, but I found her and her husband, they really took care of me and somehow some way I was able to make it through,” Montes said.

“She just stood out to me in a way that I needed to help her, and I could not just not think about her when I went home,” Rosario said.

She did her student`s laundry for her, but she wasn`t just cleaning her clothes; she was teaching her about them.

“It`s mind-blowing to me where I started to where I am now,” Montes said.

Now Montes is in charge of every Dolce and Gabbana storefront on the West Coast. She showed students how to catch customer`s eyes in a couple of seconds.

“She opened up the gateway to being creative and I don`t know how to thank her for that, because if it wasn`t for her I don`t know if I would be here,” Montes said.

“We come here to change our students lives every day, and what people don`t realize is the students change our lives every day,” Rosario said.