We all know that on Friday when Adam Lanza entered the Sandy Hook Elementary school, that principal Dawn Hochsprung lunged at him to try and stop him from going any further, and she lost her life in the process. There is speculation that Dawn also turned on the school’s public address system in order to warn the students and facility that something was going on in the school, so they could take safety precautions.
Forty-seven-years old, Dawn was a mother, stepmother and grandmother. She had two daughters and three stepdaughters, and she was helping one of them plan a wedding. She had also just started a doctoral program at the Esteves School, at Russell Sage College in New York state. Dawn is being remembered as being “charismatic” and “happy” and people who knew her said she was always the type of person to go the extra mile for someone. If someone was having a bad day, she would do anything in her power to cheer them up. From WBUR.org:
Mary Ann Jacob, a library clerk at Sandy Hook, recalls how Hochsprung infused that sense of fun into teaching.
“We had a book fair a few weeks ago and she dressed up as reading fairy with a light and went around putting fairy reading dust on all the kids,” Jacob said. “She was an amazing woman. She was strong and fun. The kids loved her. It is a huge loss.”
Dawn Hochsprung was the type of person you wanted to entrust your kids with during the day. Reading about her life and her career in education, as a parent you can see how much the students meant to her, how she referred to them as “her kids” how she cared deeply for their well-being and safety at school. From People.com:
Hochsprung was committed to school safety, having recently installed a visual monitoring system on the campus. Visitors had to wait to be let in after the school doors locked at 9:30 a.m., and then sign in at the main office. In a letter to parents about the security system, Hochsprung said the lengthy process of the new system would take some getting used to, but that it was for the greater good of the school.
Parents and former students have been quoted as saying that Dawn Hochsprung had a mantra she made the students recite that stated “I am safe, responsible, respectful and prepared.” From The Naugatuk Patch Obituary of Dawn Hochsprung:
A fierce leader and educational activist, Dawn was admired by her colleagues, students and parents, particularly for her caring and nurturing nature. She often referred to her students as her “children” and wanted school to be a positive place and a safe haven.
A visitation for Dawn will be held on Wednesday.