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Rachel D'Avino, 29: She likely didn't know it when she died, but her boyfriend had recently asked D'Avino's parents for permission to propose, and he was planning to ask for her hand in marriage on Christmas Eve. "Her presence and tremendous smile brightened any room she entered," read her obituary.
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Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47: Hochsprung, who became Sandy Hook Elementary School's principal two years ago, was "really nice and very fun, but she was also very much a tough lady in the right sort of sense," friend Tom Prunty said. And the students loved her. "Even little kids know when someone cares about them, and that was her," he said. "My mom, Dawn Hochsprung, was taken tragically from me. But she went down in a blaze of glory that truly represents who she was," her daughter, Cristina Hassinger, tweeted.
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Anne Marie Murphy, 52: A hero. That's how a first responder reportedly described Murphy to her father. He told Newsday that authorities told him her body was found in a classroom, covering young children killed in the shooting in an apparent attempt to shield them. "She died doing what she loved. She was serving children and serving God," Murphy's mother, Alice McGowan, said.
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Mary Sherlach, 56: Sherlach, Sandy Hook Elementary's school psychologist, was with Hochsprung when they heard a "pop, pop, pop" sound around 9:30 a.m., a parent with both women at the time told CNN. Sherlach was shot to death after heading into the hall to find out what was happening. Sherlach and her husband for more than three decades lived in Trumbull, Connecticut, and, together, they were "proud parents" of two daughters in their late 20s. Her website listed her interests as gardening, reading and going to the theater.
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Lauren Rousseau, 30: Rousseau, a permanent substitute teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary, "wanted to be a teacher from before she even went to kindergarten," her mother said in a written statement Saturday. "We will miss her terribly and will take comfort knowing that she had achieved that dream," Teresa Rousseau said.