Published December 14, 2012
Principal Dawn Hochsprung was in a meeting Friday morning when the sound of gunshots pierced the quiet halls of her elementary school in an idyllic Connecticut town. Minutes later, the 47-year-old educator and mother, along with 25 others, lay dead after a gunman opened fire in one of the worst mass shootings in the nation's history.
Hochsprung, who served at the helm of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown for the past two years, was as dedicated to her young charges as she was beloved by them, according to those who knew her.
"She was great," Marsha Moskowitz, a former school bus driver, told FoxNews.com. "Everyone loved her. All the kids loved her."
If Hochsprung's Twitter feed is any indication, the woman was unabashedly proud of the nearly 700 students enrolled at Sandy Hook.
"Sandy Hook students enjoy the rehearsal for our 4th grade winter concert -- a talented group led by Maryrose Kristopik!" she tweeted on Wednesday.
Other posts include colorful pictures of the "Book Fairy" reading to first-graders, as well as fourth-grade students singing patriotic songs on stage at a Veteran's Day breakfast last month.
"Keeping books in our hearts and on our minds!" Hochsprung tweeted. "Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important," she wrote, quoting Bill Gates.
The principal also appeared to be strict on safety. In an Oct. 17 post, she tweeted, "Safety first at Sandy Hook... It's a beautiful day for our annual evacuation drill!" She also implemented new security measures at the school last fall, according to the New York Daily News. A letter sent home to parents reportedly said every visitor would be required to ring the doorbell at the front entrance after the doors locked at 9:30 a.m.
"Please understand that with nearly 700 students and over 1,000 parents representing 500 SHS families, most parents will be asked to show identification," Hochsprung wrote, according to the newspaper.
Hochsprung, of Woodbury, Conn., joined the elementary school in 2010 with 12 years of prior administrative experience. Hochsprung, mother of two daughters and three stepdaughters, was married to George Hochsprung, an educator within the Danbury Public School district.