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.
Twelve other individuals will also be honored with the Citizens Medal which was established more than 40 years ago.