Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., loved her job. Her Twitter account is full of short, peppy messages, almost all of them reflecting excitement about events taking place at her school.
Tragically, Hoschsprung, 47, is believed dead after a mass shooting at the school took place on Friday morning. Twenty-seven people were killed at Sandy Hook, 20 children and six adults, according to the Hartford (Conn.) Courant. The dead include suspected shooter Adam Lanza, who also reportedly slew his mother, Nancy Lanza, a teacher at the school.
In the wake of the gruesome events at Sandy Hook, Hochsprung’s Twitter account is full of glimpses of the human side of the tragedy. Her social-media account gives a face to the victims of the shooting and places in context the magnitude of the losss Friday.
Her Twitter account reveals an amazingly passionate woman with a lifelong commitment to educating young children. The account is full of links to informative articles about the future of schooling and pictures of the young children of Sandy Hook engrossed in their studies. By all accounts, Hochsprung was a model educator.
“Safety first at Sandy Hook ... It's a beautiful day for our annual evacuation drill!” Hochsprung tweeted in October, attaching a photo of several young children standing outside the school for a fire drill.
Hochsprung’s Twitter account is full of small moments like this that document her love not only of the Sandy Hook Elementary School but also the children attending it.
Later, in November, she tweeted a picture of several teachers entertaining children with the Chicken Dance, captioning it “Chicken dancing at Sandy Hook with the Carnivale Trio!”
It’s a lighthearted moment that in restrospect illustrates exactly how tragic Friday’s shootings were, and exactly the kind of dedicated educator the world lost.
Hochsprung loved her job. She appeared in an interview with the local Newtown Bee newspaper two years ago, boasting about her school, according to the New York Daily News.
“I don’t think you could find a more positive place to bring students to every day,” she told the Bee.
Hochsprung was born in nearby Naugatuck, Conn., before becoming a teacher in the Danbury school district. She is survived by her two daughters and three stepdaughters.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.