"She had an answer for everything, she didn't miss a trick, and she outsmarted us every time," the statement said. "We called her our little CEO for the way she carefully thought out and planned everything. We cannot imagine our life without her. We are mourning her loss, sharing our beautiful memories we have of her, and trying to help her brother Travis understand why he can't play with his best friend. We are devastated, and our hearts are with the other families who are grieving as we are."
-- Washington Post
Avielle Richman, Age 6
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Sandy Hook Elementary School, 12 Dickenson Dr, Sandy Hook, CT 06482, USA
They called her "Avie."
She was a curly-haired kid who shared the passion of her parents, Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman, for keeping active outdoors, according to her father's online postings and family acquaintances.
Avielle Richman took riding lessons on a pony named Betty at Zoar Ridge Stables and had none of the timidity around the big animals one might expect of a 6-year-old. Inspired by Merida, a character in the animated movie "Brave," she took up archery last summer, firing arrows at a backyard target during breaks from watching the Olympics on television inside.
She did a lot of summer reading that required trips to the library, and her parents rewarded her with an outing for lunch at a restaurant called My Place. She liked too many books to have just one favorite, and got out her crayons for Harry Potter coloring books.
She had a black cat named Molokai who somehow defied gravity to reach the fireplace mantel; Molokai was caught just as a paw dipped into the fish bowl.
Avielle's family roots were in Connecticut, and they moved back there in 2011 after living in San Diego. She received a kindergarten diploma from Sandy Hook Elementary School in June, and the family took a road trip across eight states to visit Iowa.
She turned 6 nine days before Halloween and blew out the candles on a cake with white frosting and pink trim. The family went to the Castle Hill Farms fall festival and roamed through the pumpkin patch to find the perfect Halloween jack-o'-lantern.
By then, first grade was well underway.
Just before school started, her father, Jeremy, marveled online: "Our little hummingbird is starting first grade tomorrow."
-- Washington Post
Lauren Rousseau, Age 30
When Lauren Rousseau was in fifth grade, she had a teacher she loved. Always bubbly and outgoing, the young Lauren would come home and tell her parents or her two younger brothers about Mr. Hochsprung and what they did in class that day: tap a maple tree to learn about botany and how syrup was made, or learn how to make apple cider with a press.
She had talked about becoming a teacher since she was a small child, her mother, Teresa Rousseau, said in a statement. Her father, Gilles Rousseau, said it was in fifth grade that she knew for sure: She wanted to be a teacher like "Mr. H."
In November, after several years of substitute teaching, catering and working at Starbucks, she was hired to be a full-time substitute teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In one of the inevitable links of small-town life, her principal, Dawn Hochsprung, was the wife of George Hochsprung — Mr. H.
On Friday, Rousseau and Dawn Hoschsprung were both killed at Sandy Hook.
"We will miss her terribly and will take comfort knowing that she had achieved that dream," Teresa Rousseau, her mother, said.
"She was always on social media talking," said Bill Leukhardt, Teresa Rousseau's longtime. "She really liked going to Broadway shows."