George Hochsprung, 70, the husband of the principal who was gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Dec. 14, has retired from his job as a math teacher at Rogers Park Middle School.
The Danbury Board of Education officially accepted Hochsprung's retirement Wednesday night, marking the end of an education career that spanned 40 years and four months. Hochsprung did not attend the meeting.
His wife, Dawn Hochsprung, was killed at Sandy Hook, shot to death trying to stop the gunman who ultimately killed 20 young students and six educators.
Dawn Hochsprung met her future husband in the Danbury school system, where she was an assistant principal.
"His wife — she was that type of educator who gave her life for her kids," said Danbury Superintendent Sal Pascarella. He said George Hochspurng was the same way. "George was that type of educator."
Pascarella said Hochsprung had told him about his decision to retire last week.
Before the board considered the matter of George Hochspung's retirement, his name came up when the high school robotics team was recognized at the meeting. When one member of the team was asked about similar extracurricular activities in the lower grades, he said that Hochspurng taught middle-schoolers robotics with Legos.
Many have recalled the time Dawn Hochsprung came to the Sandy Hook school dressed as a fairy for a book fair. They said her husband had a similar dramatic approach to learning.
"He was one of the most creative people you ever were to meet," Pascarella said. "He knows his content, but connects with kids."
As George Hochsprung leaves his position and tries to fill the void in his life left by the Newtown shooting, Danbury schools will have their own void to fill.
"You just can't replace him," Pascarella said.