Dawn Hochsprung ended her life in the same way she lived, helping children. When the gunman forced his way into the school, Hochsprung died while lunging at him in an attempt to take him down.
She spent her life as an educator. Before becoming the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, she was an assistant principal at a local middle school and spent one year in the same post at Connecticut's Danbury High School.
Hochsprung had the school organize days called "Wacky Wednesdays," where students were allowed to wear goofy clothes that deliberately didn't match. Sometimes she let students dress up as their favorite storybook characters and would dress up herself. She believed the school was a community. When she sent letters home to parents, she would address them to the "Sandy Hook family." Her Twitter feed is inspiring and offers insight into an educator who truly cared for her students. One photo she tweeted showed a teacher dressed as a fairy reading a book to her students.
Hochsprung worked as hard in her own life as she did as a principal. Besides being a mom to two daughters and three stepdaughters, she was enrolled in a post-graduate program at Esteves School of Education in New York.
Jeff Hamel, the first selectman for nearby Bethlehem in Connecticut, said she "touched many of our hearts with her professionalism and love for her students."