Hochsprung remembered as smart, caring
The optimistic, always-smiling, 47-year-old principal was killed Friday. Town officials said she died while lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overtake him.
"She was everything you'd want in an educator," said Danbury Deputy Superintendent William Glass, who hired Hochsprung as an assistant principal for Danbury in 1998. "I was struck by her intellect and her ability to think through problems and come up with wonderful solutions.''
Her husband, George Hochsprung, is a Danbury teacher. The family lived in Woodbury with their five children in a blended family, and sailed.
Hochsprung "loved children," said parent Donna Kowalski, who lives across from the Sandy Hook school, which her teenage daughter used to attend.
"She was an awesome woman," Kowalski said. "Very warm, and caring. She talked to you, not at you."
Hochsprung served throughout the area, first as a special education teacher, then as assistant principal and principal.
"She was one of a kind," said Charles Manos, Brookfield schools' director of special services and a former colleague of Hochsprung. "I don't know a person who didn't respect and admire her."
Hochsprung was creative and hands-on, and didn't sit in her office much. But when she did the door was open, and she was welcoming and positive, retired Danbury teacher Melody Montgomery said.
Glass said it was not unusual for Hochsprung to be down on the floor working "shoulder-to-shoulder, on her knees with the kids."
Hochsprung had begun a doctoral program at the Sage Colleges in Troy, N.Y.
"She loved kids and kids loved her," said Barbara Durniak, her secretary for five years in Danbury. "It's overwhelming. She was lovely to look at and lovely to know. She knew her job and did her job well."