A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Rousseau was also an avid fan of the women's basketball team, sometimes going to games. She received her master's in elementary education from the University of Bridgeport.
But it was school that Rousseau most loved to talk about. She would tell her dad about the things the children did that day, how one of them had learned something in a new way, and about Sandy Hook's principal. He wasn't surprised that she loved Dawn Hochsprung.
"She's the kind of person you meet and five minutes after being around her, you want to hug her and give her a kiss — a very likable, warm person, a wonderful person."
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Sandy Hook Elementary School, 12 Dickenson Dr, Sandy Hook, CT 06482, USA
As Rousseau's father tried to understand how something so cruel could happen at a place his daughter loved so well, he also mourned for the loss suffered by someone else: George Hochsprung.
— Kenneth R. Gosselin; Washington Post
Statement from Terri Rousseau, mother of Lauren:
The Connecticut State Police confirmed at 1 a.m. today that our beloved Lauren was among the victims of the Newtown shooting. Lauren wanted to be a teacher from before she even went to kindergarten. We will miss her terribly and will take comfort knowing that she had achieved that dream.
Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau was born June 8, 1982 in Danbury, where she lived for most of her life. She was a graduate of Danbury High Schood. She had a bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut and a master's degree in elementary education from the University of Bridgeport. She had worked as a substitute teacher in Danbury, New Milford and Newtown before she was hired in November as a permanent substitute teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Mary Sherlach, Age 56
For 18 years, Mary Sherlach went to work as the school psychologist at Sandy Hook Elementary. She was the person children could see if they had difficulty keeping up in class, if they had emotional problems, or if they simply wanted to talk.
"She considered what she was doing as God's work — that's all you need to know about her," her husband, William Sherlach, a Morgan Stanley financial consultant, told the Washington Post by telephone from the family's home.
Sherlach, 56, was in a meeting at Sandy Hook with Principal Dawn Hochsprung when they heard gunfire Friday morning, according to news accounts. Sherlach and the principal bolted from the meeting to run toward the sound of the gunfire.
To her colleagues, Sherlach was known for her steady commitment to her work, which required that she navigate complex issues such as dyslexia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, chronic misbehavior and whatever emotional issues children might bring to school from home. She served on numerous districtwide committees, including the conflict resolution committee, according to a biography on the Newtown Public Schools website.
"She was an extremely dedicated professional," said Sandra Zuccarello, a Sandy Hook reading teacher who, overcome with emotion, abruptly ended a phone call with the Washington Post.
Sherlach lived in Trumbull and was married with two adult daughters — one a high school chorus teacher in New Jersey and the other a graduate student at Georgetown University. Sherlach wrote in the biography that she and her husband, Bill, enjoyed traveling and spending time at their lake house in the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. Her hobbies were gardening, reading and the theater.
Sherlach is survived by two sisters and two brothers, one of whom is her twin, according to Jeanne Stocker, a childhood friend.
"I truly enjoy working with the SHS staff, parents and children and am always ready to assist in problem solving, intervention and prevention," she wrote.
— Kenneth R. Gosselin; Washington Post
Victoria Soto, Age 27
Vicki Soto greeted the new school year as she always had: with unbridled enthusiasm.