Obama to honor slain Newtown teachers with Presidential Citizens Medal

From left to right, top: Lauren Rosseau, Dawn Hochsprung, Mary Sherlach. From left to right bottom: Anne Marie Murphyie Victoria Soto, Rachel D'Avino.

President Obama will honor the memory of six teachers killed in the massacre in Newtown by presenting them posthumously with the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation's second-highest civilian honor, the White House announced today.

The teachers - Dawn Hochsprung, Rachel Davino, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto - were gunned down while protecting the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School from a massacre on December 14, 2012.

Announcing the honorees, the White House said, "The names of six courageous women were forever etched into the heart of our Nation as unthinkable tragedy swept through Newtown, Connecticut."

"Some of these individuals had joined Sandy Hook Elementary School only weeks before; others were preparing to retire after decades of service," the announcement read. "All had dedicated themselves to their students and their community, working long past the school bell to give the children in their care a future worthy of their talents."

In addition to the slain Newtown teachers, there are 12 other honorees, including former Sen. Harris Wofford, D-Pa., Olympic gold medal winner Billy Mills and Iraq war veteran Adam Burke, who opened a handicapped-accessible farm to teach veterans about farming.

The Presidential Citizens Medal recognizes "American citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens," according to the White House.

Mr. Obama will honor the recipients next Friday, February 15, at a ceremony at the White House.