Slain Connecticut principal worked hard to promote school

NEWTOWN, Connecticut Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:19pm EST

Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung is pictured in the school's library in this September 12, 2010 handout photo courtesy of the Newtown Patch. REUTERS/Newtown Patch/Jennifer Donovan/Handout

Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung is pictured in the school's library in this September 12, 2010 handout photo courtesy of the Newtown Patch.

Credit: Reuters/Newtown Patch/Jennifer Donovan/Handout

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NEWTOWN, Connecticut (Reuters) - Some 12 hours before Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Principal Dawn Hochsprung tweeted about setting up the school's nonfiction book preview.

"Common Core, here we come!" Hochsprung wrote on Twitter on Thursday night, referring to an initiative to prepare children for college and careers. She attached a photograph of books for young readers, such as "Alligator or Crocodile? How Do You Know?"

On Saturday, H. Wayne Carver, Connecticut's chief medical examiner, confirmed that Hochsprung was among the six adults and 20 children killed by a gunman at the school.

Hochsprung's Twitter feed suggests she was a tireless promoter of Sandy Hook, its pupils and staff. The photo she selected for her account is one of the school, with children lined up outside.

"She is an amazing woman and a great leader," school library clerk Mary Ann Jacob said of the principal on Saturday. "It's a huge loss."

Hochsprung, 47, had been principal at Sandy Hook for two years, after 12 years as a school administrator elsewhere in Connecticut, and five years as a special education teacher.

She had two daughters and three stepdaughters, the Newtown Bee newspaper reported.

On Wednesday Hochsprung tweeted: "Sandy Hook students enjoy the rehearsal for our 4th grade winter concert - a talented group led by Maryrose Kristopik!"

On Monday: "Sandy Hook kinders write lists, select grocery items, and pay the cashier at Mrs. Vollmer's new Supermarket Center!"

The tweets seemed in keeping with the school's motto, "Think you can, work hard, get smart, be kind."

In the hours after the shootings, her Twitter feed became a forum for expressions of shock and sorrow: "Omg RIP to @DHochsprung , principal who was shot and killed ... SO SAD!!" "This story is so sad. I hope she is alive."

Hochsprung's final post on Thursday was a retweet of a Harvard Business Review article, "Nine Ways Successful People Defeat Stress."

"Very good read," she wrote.

(Reporting By Deborah Zabarenko and Chris Kaufman; Editing by Xavier Briand and David Brunnstrom)

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