Principal Saves Student From Drowning in Icy River

icy riverEvery day the headlines are filled with educators who make us fear for our students. From perverted principals to teachers who refuse to let children use the bathroom, there are plenty of stories to make us question the quality of education in this country. But a principal in Rochester, N.H., provides a shining example of what I believe to be the real heart of most people who chose to go into the field of education.

Last week, an autistic boy, 10, ran away from his teacher and onto an icy pond behind the school. As his teacher and principal, Gwen Rhodes, gave chase, they saw him fall through a patch of thin ice in front of them.


Instead of panicking, Rhodes sprang into action and dove in after him. She explained to WCSC: "We were able to work our way to the edge and I used a tree to brace my foot that was kind of under the water and I pushed him upward and got him out of the water."

Her quick thinking and disregard for her own safety saved the boy's life without a doubt, and today's he doing fine. We're often quick to use the term hero to describe people, but if anyone deserves it bestowed upon her, it's Rhodes ... for this incident, and for so many other things.

She's exactly the kind of person we all hope is leading our children's schools and teaching in their classrooms. We want to believe that educators care about our children like we do, or at least enough to protect them and keep them from harm when we can't. And I think the majority of them do.

While the outrageous stories take the headlines, the teachers I've encountered through my schooling and that of my children have been some of the most caring, compassionate, and selfless people I know. Not everyone is so fortunate, but it's great to see the good ones recognized, and it shouldn't always take a heroic feat. As Rhodes told the station:

This is just something that was a circumstance and you did what you needed to do when the circumstance happened, but what we do every day is what makes people that work in schools heroes.


What heroic acts -- big or small -- have you seen from teachers?

Image via smaedli/Flickr

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