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Obituary: Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47, of Woodbury

Mrs. Hochsprung was principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

 

Born: June 28, 1965 Died: December 14, 2012 Services:  Graveside services will be private.

Visitation:  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.

 

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.

 

Cemetery: Cemetery Not Applicable Location: Munson-Lovetere Woodbury (Map)
Elena Bowen December 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM
So young, so inspiring, so dedicated. So beautiful, inside and out. May God continue to give strength to her family. Faith is what will guide us, we must never let it go. My daughter will always remember her and the code:)
Sara Guillemette December 19, 2012 at 01:03 PM
"I am safe, responsible, respectful, and prepared", the code that Dawn introduced to CT Region 14, that code...reassured our sons & daughters as they returned to school. Your brilliant smile, your vibrant energy, your desire to address every student, each parent, each sibling by name, your unwavering devotion to honoring your core values of safety, nurturing, learning, leadership. Such an honor and blessing you entered our children's lives. You were an evolved soul Dawn Hochsprung. You will not be forgotten."
VICTORIA December 19, 2012 at 02:19 PM
sorry i can not be there but i am there for your family i just live in ga dawn use to be my teacher in middle school. she was very caring and understand always had a smile on her face. i could be upset dawn knew how to make me happy again. i got my teacher agree because of her. i just had to found the right school to teach in but god will show me soon. i will miss dawn very much. i will never forget you. she would do anything to do to safe her students. you always call us her children. i will be in church today to light a candle and say pray for you dawn and her family god bless. to family if you need anything just email me riverstreet2010@yahoo.com if i can do it i will i love you dawn i dont know the family will i love you to
Shaunte' Smith December 19, 2012 at 02:25 PM
God Called home his appointed principal to watch over and to teach all of his little children who he called into Heaven's gates.... " she above all was prepared".... from our family here in York Pa to yours...Blessings to you
Alexis Chacchia December 19, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Beautifully said, Sara. Thank you.
lou banger December 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Go bless Dawn and her family. I am numb,sad, disgusted and angry. I have never been 'depressed' in my life. I feel deep depression now! There are no words to say, just hope all the families find a way to somehow cope. R.I.P. Dawn Sincere condolence to Christina and Erica and the remaining members of your loving family. So sorry for your lost. Friend of your family...
Natalie December 20, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Dawn was the principal in our school system before Newtown. When I think of her, I think of her bright smile & her commanding presence. She had the perfect balance needed in a principal - take-charge attitude yet approachable to students. She got things done with a smile on her face. I respected her for making school security a priority. My daughter told me that one day Dawn went outside & confronted a "strange" man the kids all spotted on the playground with what they thought was a "weapon". He turned out to be a gardener holding a garden tool, but she didn't hesitate to investigate. When my daughter was in 5th grade, she had to do a makeup test outside the classroom. She sat alone in the hallway, stuck on an equation. Dawn walked down the hallway, stopped & asked her if she needed help. She said Dawn sat right down next to her, both of them with their backs to the wall, feet on the floor. She helped her think through the problem. It made all the difference to my child. My heart goes out to the Hochsprung family. She was what every parent wants in a school leader - she put the children first. She didn't hesitate when she laid down her life trying to save them. You are all in my thoughts & prayers. May it give you some comfort knowing that she did not die in vain. She paid the ultimate sacrifice & the communities she served will never forget her bravery & determination. I wish you all peace & comfort & wonderful memories to hold forever.
Angela Thompson December 22, 2012 at 07:03 AM
RIP DAWN: GOD NEEDED A LEADER TO CONTINUE TO GUIDE THIS YOUNG FLOCK... TAKE COMFORT IN ONE ANOTHER.. BE STRONG! CHERISH THE HAPPY MEMORIES!

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