Teachers, student cited for heroism

By Monroe Roark Times Correspondent

The school year is less than two months old, but a few local educators and one student have already been singled out for exemplary acts that saved lives.

It was the first week of school when Pate’s Creek Elementary School teacher Tracey Canavan saw that one of her special-needs students was choking on some food. She took action immediately by performing the Heimlich maneuver as well as CPR, in spite of the fact that the student was in a wheelchair.

Canavan works with kindergarten through second grade. According to the school’s website, this is her 23rd year in education and her 11th year at PCES.

School system spokesman J.D. Hardin said Canavan has been certified in CPR for 15 years but this was the first time she had ever used that training at school.

The outcome was a good one for the student. Henry County emergency personnel responded to the scene and reported that, had Canavan not stepped up as she did, the outcome would likely have been much different, Hardin said.

In a separate incident, members of the Union Grove High School NJROTC unit were involved in an activity on the McDonough Square when student Nicholas Cordova noticed that a nearby car was on fire. One of the unit’s leaders, 1st Sgt. Tyrone White, learned about the situation and got involved, ultimately helping a woman and a child get out of the car safely.

All three were recognized for “extreme heroism and bravery” at the Sept. 14 Henry County Board of Education meeting.