One of the victims of the shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Friday was school principal Dawn Hochsprung, who friends remember as a “hero” who dedicated to helping kids. Hochsprung, 47, was also raising five girls at home – two of her own daughters and three step-children.
Reports claim that Hochsprung and another adult at the school ran towards the sounds of gunfire. Today reports that her friends say they were not surprised. Former colleague Gerald Stomski said that “when Dawn was the principal in our school system, we talked about this exact type of incident. She certainly was inspiring and put her children first, and it was no surprise to me that she came to them. She’s actually a hero today.”
Mark Boughton, the mayor of nearby Danbury, Conn., knew Dawn well. He said that “as a teacher I’ll tell you, our number one rule is to protect the health, safety and welfare of our children, and that was always at the forefront of Dawn’s mind in everything she did – health, safety and general welfare to make sure those kids were safe.”
Hochsprung’s twitter profile illustrates her passion for education and children, as every single tweet is enthusiastically devoted to her pride in Sandy Hook Elementary and its students, or to sharing important principals of education.
Welcoming our Kinders this morning… 74 new opportunities to inspire lifelong learning!— Dawn Hochsprung
Sandy Hook teachers, students, and parents planted a garden and donated their harvested veggies to the soup kitchen throughout the summer!— Dawn Hochsprung
Thanks to the Sandy Hook School community for a first day full of learning and fun!— Dawn Hochsprung
Daily homework for parents: model learning, help kids work through frustrating problems, engage in meaningful conversation, READ TOGETHER!— Dawn Hochsprung
Beautiful writing in the beautified courtyard… Way to go, Sandy Hook! http://t.co/nCETJZCn— Dawn Hochsprung
Mary Ehrenworth, “When people ask me how much a child should read every day always I say, ‘As much as humanly possible.’”— Dawn Hochsprung
Safety first at Sandy Hook… It’s a beautiful day for our annual evacuation drill! http://t.co/F1121xE7— Dawn Hochsprung
In a fourth grade classroom right now… Completely blown away by the caliber of instruction and by students’ deep thinking!— Dawn Hochsprung
Sandy Hook gardeners celebrate their learning after the fall harvest! http://t.co/XLFrDKca— Dawn Hochsprung
Thanks to Sandy Hook families for your quick response to our early closing… I hope you are all safe, home, and warm!— Dawn Hochsprung
Sandy Hook parent Aimee Seaver told CNN “I never saw her without a smile. I believe she had the children’s best intentions all the time. She was always looking out for them.” Another friend said “even little kids know when someone cares about them, and that was her.”