With a Video Tribute, Convention Honors Newtown Superintendent

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School captured the emotional heartstrings of attendees at the 1st General Session of the AASA national conference on Thursday.

The assembly honored Janet Robinson, superintendent of the Newtown, Conn., Public School District, with a standing ovation and paid tribute to the Sandy Hook students and staff members who lost their lives in the mid-December shooting inside their school.

The tribute included a two-minute video, prepared by Lifetouch, that included the reading of the names of students and staff who died. The backdrop was children’s artwork that expressed sympathy for the victims.

In brief remarks, Robinson thanked her colleagues from across the nation for their outpouring of support and messages in the weeks since the tragedy. “Your words really mattered,” she said from the stage.

Her concluding thought: “The measure of a society is how they treat their children.”

In an earlier prepared statement, AASA Executive Director Daniel Domenech said: “All superintendents face critical incidents from time to time, but fortunately few of us are called to face the personal anguish that comes from the loss of children and staff members in our schools. We want Janet and the entire Newtown community to know that they remain in our thoughts and prayers. We are strengthened by their courage.”