A close friend from college said Rachel D'Avino was a recent hire at Sandy Hook Elementary. D'Avino specialized in special education and formerly worked as a therapist for autistic children. "She was one of the funniest, loudest, happiest people ever," said the friend, who asked that her name not be used out of respect for the family. "She was willing to do absolutely anything for the kids she worked with." D'Avino was known to dress up in costume and sing songs during activities to help connect with and entertain the children she worked with, the friend said. The friend, who first met D'Avino six years ago while they were both students, said she remembered belting out Disney and "High School Musical" lyrics with D'Avino.
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