By Matt de Simone
Steven Anderson entered the Troutville Elementary School as its principal, and left as a hero on January 25.
Last Thursday, the Botetourt County School Board recognized Anderson and his fellow faculty members for their heroic efforts in saving the life of a student who was choking on a hot dog.
Superintendent Dr. John Russ navigated the local citizens in attendance and those listening remotely through the frightening scenario. Anderson received a call about a suffering student in the cafeteria. Upon arrival, faculty members were attending to the choking student, who was unconscious due to her lack of oxygen.
“There were several attempts using the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the food,” Russ explained. “The last person to attempt to dislodge [the food] was Mr. Anderson.”
Dr. Russ mentioned that due to the faculty remaining calm and because of their training for these situations, Anderson was able to swipe the food out of the student’s mouth with his finger.
“A tragedy that none of us ever want to have to live the rest of our lives with was diverted because of the actions of these employees,” Russ stated. “I am extremely thankful and extremely blessed to consider these individuals colleagues of mine because what they did was truly heroic.”
Buchanan representative Michelle Crook presented certificates of recognition to Anderson and the courageous faculty members Trina Gray, Linda Basham, Amanda Harold, Dana Bowling, who were informed by Dr. Russ that they didn’t have to comment on the crisis situation.