Ann Myers, director of Hochsprung Center, shares her vision one year after Sandy Hook tragedy.

The Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Center for the Promotion of Mental Health and School Safety at The Sage Colleges was conceived in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy and established in February of 2013 in honor of Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung. Hochsprung was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School and a doctoral candidate in Sage’s Educational Leadership program when she lost her life in the Newtown, CT shooting on December 14, 2012. The center’s mission is to explore, develop and share solutions that promote the mental health of each child and safe learning environments for all children.

“The Hochsprung Center’s mission is a tribute to Dawn and can only be accomplished by the participation of the entire community, adults and children alike,” explained Ann Myers, founding director of the center. “The center will continue to explore the relationship between mental health and school safety, and work together with all members of our community to develop and share solutions to the complex issues that contribute to creating school culture. It is our hope that through the work of the Hochsprung Center, we can prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting from occurring in the future."

Ann Myers Hochsprung CenterThe center’s inaugural event was held in October and included a keynote discussion led by Dr. Kyle Blanchfield, president and CEO of the Northern New York Centers for Conflict Resolution, which focused on leadership, violence and school climate. The center is currently conducting research in alignment with its mission and is planning a day-long summit for May 2014.

Prior to being named director of the Hochsprung Center, Myers was founding director of the doctoral program in Educational Leadership, Esteves School of Education at The Sage Colleges. She continues to serve as an associate professor.

She was a former district superintendent of Questar III BOCES, K-12 teacher and administrator. Myers is co-author of Leadership 360, a blog for Education Week and was recently named recipient of the 2013 Harriet Rifkin Award for Leadership by the Capital District Women’s Employment and Resource Center. She has a doctorate in Education from Columbia University, a master’s in History/Social Studies from SUNY Albany and a bachelor’s in History/Social Studies from the College of Saint Rose in Albany.