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Dulles Elementary School Staff Saves Child From Choking

Board President Margarita Rios; Board Vice-President Jesse Urquidi; Board Members Darryl Adams, Karen Morrison, Chris Pflanzer, Sean Reagan, and Ana Valencia with recipients Caryn Cerda, Jimmy Chavez-Perez, Juan Lara, Andrea Woolridge and Kevin Sandoval. Photo by Tammye McDuff.

Board President Margarita Rios; Board Vice-President Jesse Urquidi; Board Members Darryl Adams, Karen Morrison, Chris Pflanzer, Sean Reagan, and Ana Valencia with recipients Caryn Cerda, Jimmy Chavez-Perez, Juan Lara, Andrea Woolridge and Kevin Sandoval. Photo by Tammye McDuff.

By Tammye McDuff

The Norwalk-LaMirada Unified School District [NLMUSD] paid special recognition and gave out the Golden Rule Award to Caryn Cerda, Para-educator; Jimmy Chavez-Perez, Para-educator and Juan Lara, Custodian, from Dulles Elementary School at the Nov. 3 board meeting for saving a young student’s life.

During lunchtime at Dulles, student Kevin Sandoval began choking. Sandoval hit his hands on the table and Cerda noticed he was turning red in the face.

Perez immediately rushed to the child’s assistance and began administering the Heimlich maneuver. Perez had to administer the Heimlich multiple times, finally dislodging the food from Sandoval’s throat.

Lara assisted Perez and Cerda during this emergency, and all three remained composed so as not to draw attention to the situation from other students.

The three likely saved Sandoval’s life.

The NLMUSD initiated The Golden Rule in June 1983 to recognize employees and community members for outstanding contributions, believing public recognition for special contributions enhances teamwork, raises community awareness and supports the students, teachers and schools within the district.

Perez was trained in the Heimlich maneuver January 2014 after Dulles Special Education Teacher Andrea Woolridge encouraged him to do so. Perez has always strived to improve himself in order to provide the best care for the students.

Board President Margarita Rios applauded the staff members “Dulles Elementary is very fortunate to have Jimmy, Caryn, Juan and Andrea on their staff. They exemplify the qualities that the NLMUSD holds dear as it strives to offer each student every opportunity to demonstrate excellence. These staff members certainly displayed distinction that day as they saved the life of Kevin Sandoval.”

Sandoval handed out personal thank you notes and yellow roses as his expression of gratitude.

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