Washington (CNN) - President Obama will honor the six teachers and staff killed in the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre last December with the second highest civilian honor, the Citizens Medal in a ceremony next Friday at the White House.
In announcing the honor, 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."
Principal Dawn Hochsprung, school psychologist Mary Sherlach and teachers Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Rachel Davino, and Victoria Soto and twenty children were killed when a gunman opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.
The Citizens Medal recognizes Americans who have performed "exemplary deeds of service for their country or fellow citizens."
Calling the six women from the Newtown tragedy "dedicated" to their students and their community the White House noted how they often put in long hours "to give the children in their care a future worthy of their talents."
As many as 6,000 individuals were nominated for the Citizens Medal for 2012. FULL POST
White House officials have said that President Obama's team has been in contact with state and local officials in New England in preparation of the winter storm and blizzard that will hit this evening and over the weekend. Meanwhile, the President spends his Friday mostly behind closed doors. We assume he'll continue meeting with his advisers about the storm and other matters. This afternoon, he'll head over the Potomac River to attend the farewell ceremony of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at Joint Base Myer-Henderson in Arlington, Virginia. There isn't a White House briefing scheduled for today so we will most likely have to wait until next week for more information from the White House.
Guidance from the White House:
10:30AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office (Closed Press)
1:00PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet for lunch
Private Dining Room (Closed Press)
3:55PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at the Armed Forces Farewell Tribute in honor of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
Joint Base Myer-Henderson (Pooled for TV; Open to Still Photographers and Correspondents)