Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visits Newtown

The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Newtown on Wednesday, meeting privately with teachers and school district staff.

Duncan also attended services for Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung, one of 26 victims of Friday’s mass shooting at the school. He met with Hochsprung’s daughters earlier in the day.

Duncan also posted a video on the U.S. Department of Education website, thanking the educators at Sandy Hook school, and addressing teachers and staff members around the nation.

“I want to take a moment to thank the many extraordinary educators school leaders and school principals who protected the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” said Duncan in the video. “Words cannot do justice to the courage of Dawn Hochsprung, Mary Sherlach, Lauren Rousseau, Victoria Soto, Anne Marie Murphy and Rachel D’Avino. They made the ultimate sacrifice, literally laying down their lives to protect the children they taught and cared for.”

He added, “I am extraordinarily grateful to our nation’s teachers, school staff members, principals, and district leaders for the courage and caring they showed in the first few days back to school after the shootings. It is you who have done the hard work of caring for students. It is you who have fostered a sense of normalcy and safety, and let students express their concerns and emotions and fears.”

Tom Cleary