Rachel D'Avino


Days before the Connecticut shooting rampage, the boyfriend of Rachel D'Avino had asked her parents for permission to marry her.

D'Avino was a behavioral therapist who had only recently started working at the school where she was killed, according to Lissa Lovetere Stone, a friend who is handling her funeral planned for Friday. D'Avino's boyfriend, Anthony Cerritelli, planned to ask her to marry him on Christmas Eve, Lovetere Stone said.

Lovetere Stone said she met D'Avino in 2005 when D'Avino was assigned to her son, who has autism, in their town of Bethlehem. D'Avino, 29, was so dedicated she'd make home visits and constantly offered guidance on handling situations such as helping her son deal with loud music at a wedding.

"Her job didn't end when the school bell rang at 3 o'clock," Lovetere Stone said.

Police told her family that she shielded one of the students during the rampage, Lovetere Stone said.

"I'm heartbroken. I'm numb," Lovetere Stone said. "I think she taught me more about how to be a good mother to a special needs child than anyone else ever had."

Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Guest Book

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I know you're smiling down on the next generation of students attending Sandy Hook.

Can't believe it's been 7 years on Saturday 14th. I've gone on to donate several times to the Sandy Hook Promise.
To me you will always be a hero for overcoming your disability and for protecting your kids in that school.
Your family will always be in my heart and prayers.

Happy holidays, angel

May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.

Hey Rachel,
I briefly thought of you a few days ago because of yet another tragedy that led to seven lost lives. Take care of them, my friend...

December 14, 2012 will be remembered as a devastating day for Newtown and the state of Connecticut.

As someone who lives with Aspergers, I commemorate the loss of you and 25 others from this awful tragedy. Take care of your wonderful educators and friends up in heaven, including Lauren Rousseau, Victoria Soto, Mary Sherlach, Principal Hochsprung and Anne Marie Murphy. You all made Sandy Hook a really good place to be.


Rachel may you live in gods loving arms forever.