The NAESP family continues to mourn the loss of life that resulted from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday.

We know that you join us in extending our utmost condolences to everyone who lost loved ones and those who endured the unthinkable. We are deeply saddened by the loss of principal Dawn Hochsprung, who has been a member of NAESP for nearly 10 years.

NAESP stands ready to help the nation’s principals restore a sense of security in their buildings during this emotionally-charged time. Find resources here that will help you talk to your staff about reinforcing safety and establishing a sense of normalcy. We will continue to update you with leadership resources and ways to honor fallen principal Dawn Hochsprung.

Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47, of Woodbury, CT, passed Friday, December 14, 2012 as the result of the tragic events that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

Beloved daughter, mother, wife, grandmother and friend, Dawn was a dedicated teacher who inspired her students to reach their fullest potential by instilling in them the importance of life-long learning. 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 graduate of Naugatuck High School Class of 1983, Dawn discovered the power of knowledge which led her to pursue a career in education. Dawn received her bachelor's degree in special education from Central Connecticut State University and her master's degree education from Southern Connecticut State University. She was currently enrolled at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY pursuing her Ph.D. - a testament to her own personal mission to continue learning and lead by example.

Above all, Dawn was extremely devoted to her family. There was nothing in the world she wouldn't do to ensure that her family was happy and safe. She often credited her mother, Cheryl (Gee Gee) Lafferty for instilling in her the importance of family and never taking them for granted.

Dawn is survived by her husband George Hochsprung, her mother Cheryl Lafferty, two daughters, Cristina Lafferty Hassinger and Erica Lafferty, a brother Daniel Lafferty, three grandsons, a granddaughter, three step daughters, Anne Priest, Amy Lawton and Beth Ewaskiewicz, and several aunts, uncles and cousins. Her father, William Lafferty, had passed in 2004.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday, December 19 from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Woodbury Funeral Home of Munson-Lovetere, 2 School Street. Burial will be private. To place an online condolence, please visit In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Dawn Lafferty - Hochsprung Memorial Fund, Waterbury Connecticut Federal Teacher's Union, PO Box 2121, Waterbury, Ct 06722

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Coaches @ NAESP's Principal Mentor Program

WE send our condolences to all family members of Dawn Hochsprung. May your hearts know that our hearts are heavy with your loss. Please know we send our biggest and warmest hugs your way.

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