Sandy Hook Prinicpal Dawn Hochsprung
As we continue to watch events unfold in Connecticut, Melanie Buhrmaster-Bunch who is UB's Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations is there to help support the family of Dawn Hochsprung who was killed in the Connecticut school shooting.
She was the beloved principal of Sandy Hook Elementary and happens to be the cousin of Buhrmaster-Bunch. She says "I grew up with Dawn. Pretty much every weekend we were together throughout my entire childhood life. And I'm here to just add support to the family. She was a couple of years older than I am and you know I wanted to be like her. She was ambitious. There was absolutely nothing that stood in her way. She had her mind set to do something...she would do it."
And it turns out that Principal Hochsprung did just that on Friday. Reports say she actually confronted and lunged at the gunman who took her life as well. Newtown Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson said "The principal of the school was running toward the shooter in order to protect her students."
Buhrmaster-Bunch says she was not surprised. "If she knew somebody was trying to harm a child, I can see her actually trying to go after him because she just wanted to protect them all."
She adds that her cousin "was just an amazing, amazing woman...educator. She cared about her children you know so much. And when I'm talking about her children, I'm not only talking about her personal children but she called every single child at the school that she taught at, her children."
Buhrmaster-Bunch says the family is grieving but also realizes the special role of Hochsprung. "She inspired so many people but knowing what happened inside the school that day, and hearing stories and testimonials from some of her colleagues, and you know folks that were inside the school just confirmed that she is a hero. She may not be with us now but she will always be a hero to the entire family, if not the entire world."