December 16th, 2012
11:48 PM ET

Family's grief and love for principal remembered as a hero

George Hochsprung was teaching class at Rogers Park Middle school in Danbury, Connecticut last Friday when a student who was reading a story on the Internet pulled him aside.

“One of the kids came up with a computer and said something is happening at Sandy Hook school,” Hochsprung said sitting with his children who were wiping tears from their eyes. The next words, he says, he’ll never forget: “Your wife has been killed.”

Hochsprung’s wife Dawn Hochsprung was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School and was shot to death by the gunman who reportedly forced his way into the school.


December 16th, 2012
11:38 PM ET

Teacher: Sandy Hook is a tight-knit group

Janet Vollmer's former students and colleagues died in the Sandy Hook shooting. She calmed her class during the gunfire.

December 16th, 2012
11:14 PM ET

Teacher 'had a heart for her children'

Parents of a student taught by Victoria Soto describe how Newtown will remember the teacher who died protecting her class during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

December 16th, 2012
10:54 PM ET

'He shot his way in through glass doors'

The former chair of the Newtown Board of Education says the school shooting could be a defining moment to drive change.

December 16th, 2012
09:06 PM ET

Letters to the President #1427: 'Change of the guard'

Reporter's Note: I have written to President Obama every day since he took office.

Dear Mr. President,

I noted with some interest that you decided this weekend to put Sen. John Kerry up as your new Secretary of State. Seems like a solid choice. He’s a mature player. His credentials are pretty impressive. He has some controversies in his past, but they certainly don’t seem major. Well, I suppose whether they are major or minor depends on your political point of view, but none of them seems to have ever risen to the level of being a full blown scandal. There is the matter of him being a fabulously wealthy guy from Massachusetts, and judging from the campaign, you have no faith that such people can be trusted…but maybe that’s just a matter of context, hey? Ha!

That said, in some ways I’ve never understood this whole changing of the guard that happens whenever a president wins a new term. I would be inclined to think that when a leader is re-elected, in a sense people feel as if they are re-electing his team as well, so to suddenly start switching everyone out is peculiar.

After all, if a pro football coach gets a new contract, he doesn’t immediately start dumping all of his established players and trying to pick up new ones, does he?

On the other hand, I know that having anything to do with White House politics is exhausting. Asking any person to serve in one of these positions for four years is probably more than enough. After all those relentless hours, the pressure, and the strain families, I can understand how they might want a break. I can understand also how you might wonder if any given member of your team is really at his or her best after four years of such effort.

I guess what I think doesn’t matter anyway. This just seems to be the way it is done.

So I wish you the very best with the process. I know you were probably disappointed about that flameout with Susan Rice, but it appears you’ve moved on in positive direction and in short order. One can’t ask for much more than that.

Hope your weekend is going well enough, especially under the circumstances of late.


December 16th, 2012
06:04 PM ET

Sunday on AC360: Remembering the Sandy Hook victims

Tonight at 10 p.m. ET, watch Anderson Cooper's special report on CNN.

December 16th, 2012
06:00 PM ET

Shooting victim loved 'twin most of all'

The aunt of 6-year-old Noah Pozner talks about how his family is coping after his death in the Sandy Hook shooting.