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  • The Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Center for the Promotion of Mental Health and School Safety explores, develops and shares solutions that promote the mental health of each child and safe-learning environments for all children.

    The Hochsprung Center was founded in 2012, and exists in the national context described by:

    • 1 in 4 Americans suffer a diagnosable mental illness in a given year.
    • 60% of people with mental health issues do not receive treatment.
    • Childhood mental illnesses affect up to 1 in 5 children between the ages of 3 and 17 and cost $247 billion per year in medical bills, special education and juvenile justice.
    • Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary School, University of Texas at Austin, Columbine High School, Chardon High School, Oikos University: 97 victims killed, 6 shooters killed.

    Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung

    Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung

    Russell Sage College posthumously honored Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, a member of Sage’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership. Dawn was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where she and 25 others lost their lives on December 14, 2012 in one of the nation’s most tragic school shootings. Dawn is remembered by her faculty and peers as a vibrant, dedicated, and caring educator and administrator who inspired students and colleagues alike. A memorial fund was established in her honor at Sage and the Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Center for the Promotion of Mental Health and School Safety was created within the Esteves School of Education. To recognize her achievements and passion for education, in 2015 Sage conferred the Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) upon Dawn with her fellow members of her academic cohort.

    Vision Statement

    It is a responsibility shared by all to ensure our schools are places where children and the adults who work with them are safe to learn and grow. Our vision is inspired by the life of Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, the 2012 principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. By honoring her sacrifice, we work to advance her legacy.

    Mission Statement

    The Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Center for the Promotion of Mental Health and School Safety will explore, develop and share solutions that support the mental health of each child and safe school environments to maximize opportunities for teaching and learning.

    Have Questions?

    Assistant Professor and Chair; Director, Hochsprung Center