Kristen Jackson is the Director of the Kappa Delta Pi Educational Foundation.
As the anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy approaches, the Kappa Delta Pi family remembers the six heroic educators who lost their lives protecting young children, invoking their courage, selflessness, and devotion under horrendous circumstances.
In 1991 and 2006, respectively, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung and Victoria Soto validated their commitment to the highest standards in education as initiate members of Kappa Delta Pi. They joined our exceptional community dedicated to the ideals of scholarship, leadership, and service, united in a profession committed to inspiring young and old to grow.
There is a quote from Henry Adams that resonates with me each time I reflect on this horrific tragedy: “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
The untimely loss of educators, including our fellow KDP members, has generated powerful conversation in the educational community about preparedness, school violence, and student grief support. The effect of this tragedy will forever change the landscape of education.
The Kappa Delta Pi “Heart of Guardian” medal is a way to honor fellow educators who have acted selflessly to protect their students from harm. We believe it is befitting for the first recipients of the “Heart of a Guardian” medal to be our colleagues who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Dawn and Victoria hold a very special place in our hearts. An engraved “Heart of the Guardian” medal was sent to each family, and a medal will remain on display at our international headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, with a placard bearing the names of our KDP colleagues who gave their lives that tragic December day.
We continue to mourn the loss of our fellow teachers and turn our thoughts to Newtown, Connecticut, offering strength, peace, and serenity during this difficult time.