Saving a Lenape Life

Teachers honored, budget introduction highlight Lenape District meeting

Four teachers from Cherokee High School were recognized with a proclamation for their roles in saving the life of one of their colleagues. Athletic trainers Jeff Wood and Karen Hengst, paraprofessional Gary Denelsbeck and nurse-paraprofessional Felicia Progar were all honored for their role in helping revive one of the teachers who went into cardiac arrest with a defibrillator.

On Feb. 17, during a teacher in-service day, the Cherokee High School staff were entering the Lenape Performing Arts Center. As they were going in, a staff member went into cardiac arrest. A teacher sitting next to her called for help, and many of the teachers called 911. Denelsbeck and Progar began administering CPR to the staff member. Wood and Hengst both heard the situation from administrators on the radios and rushed to the center with defibrillators. The shock from the defibrillator revived the staff member and saved her life.

The district declined to release the name of the staff member.

“We were able to have such a great outcome thanks to the availability of an AED,” Hengst said. “This event was a complete group effort. Everyone present was willing to help in any way needed, which is one of the things that makes Cherokee a great place to work.”

“It is pretty rare in a school community where we can recognize for the heroic deed of saving someone’s life,” Superintendent Carol Brinbohm said during the presentation. “I hope that bringing attention to what happened and by honoring our four heroes this evening that people will notice the AED (defibrillators) when they are out at a restaurant, at the movies, at the mall or other community events. Maybe other people hearing this story of these four heroes will be responsible for saving more lives.”

In other news:

Residents who live in Medford may be looking at another slight tax decrease. The Lenape Regional High School District introduced its 2017–2018 school year budget last Wednesday. Within the budget, Medford residents will pay 0.21 cents less per $100 of their property assessment. A resident who owns a home with the average assessed value of $327,100 will pay $10.49 less than last year.

The district is proposing a budget that totals more than $159 million for the upcoming year. A public hearing, which will include more details and discussion about the budget, will occur during a school board meeting April 26 at 7:30 p.m.