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December 17th, 2012
10:11 AM ET

Remembering hero Principal Dawn Hochsprung; her family speaks with CNN's Gary Tuchman

“Early Start” is remembering the victims of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School today. Principal Dawn Hochsprung will be remembered as a wonderful administrator but even more as a wonderful wife and mother. CNN’s Gary Tuchman talks with Principal Hochsprung’s family about the woman who sacrificed her life to save others.

Her husband George, who is much older than Dawn, proposed to her five times before she finally accepted. Both marrying for a second time, they joined together Dawn’s two daughters from her first marriage and George’s three daughters from his previous one. “They are a blended, but very close family with 11 grandchildren,” Tuchman says.

George says they built their dream house in the Adirondacks together. "It was going to be her house because I was gonna die, I was gonna be gone. I’m much older than Dawn," George says. “It was gonna be Dawn’s house ultimately, with all the children. All the children. And now it’s me. I can't, I don’t think I can do that.”

When George, who was teaching at the middle school at the time, found out his wife had been killed, “George raced out of school and into a nightmare,” Tuchman says. Since then, George has learned from two teachers who survived that they were having a meeting with Dawn when the shots started ringing out. “Dawn put herself in jeopardy and I have been angry about that," George says. "Until just now, today, when I met two women that she told to go into shelter while she actually confronted the gunman. And she could’ve avoided that that. And she didn’t, I knew she wouldn't. So I’m not angry anymore. I’m not angry…I’m just very sad.”

“Everyone here is so proud” of Dawn, Tuchman says. “No one more so than Erica, who said her mom was always there for her daughters.” “All of my sisters’ cheerleading stuff she was there, every dance competition. She was doing homework on the bleachers, but she was there,” Erica says. “And she was my rock. My rock.”

“And now she is a hero too,” Tuchman says.

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