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Fast actions save U-46 high school students

By Seth Hancock
  On an October morning this school year, twice staff at Streamwood High School had to act fast to save two students.
  In one classroom, a student had a grand mal seizure while in another class, a student stopped breathing, but the actions of the school’s nurse Mary Girardi, Dean Nicholas Baird, Resource Officer Steve Kisch and Associate Principal Brian Moran, among others, helped bring a happy ending to both incidents.
  “Streamwood High School had two students who required medical attention,” said Mary Fergus, director of School and Community Relations, at a School District U-46 Board of Education meeting in November when the staff’s actions were recognized. “Staff acted swiftly and decisively to provide immediate support to the students who were both taken to the hospital, and who we are happy to report both survived.”
  According to a U-46 press release, both incidents occurred the morning of Oct. 9 with Girardi treating the student who lost consciousness after suffering the seizure. That student was hospitalized but returned home that same day.
  The student who stopped breathing required CPR administered by Baird and Kisch and the use of a defibrillator by Moran awaiting the arrival of an ambulance. That student has returned to classes.
  “One of an educator’s greatest fears played out not once but twice on the same day,” said Ariel Correa, Streamwood’s principal. “Both times our staff moved quickly into action, displaying stellar leadership skills and dedication to ensure these students would survive.”
  Correa added: “The team cohesiveness was outstanding. My sincere thanks and praise go out to them.”
  Assistant Principal Nathan McCoy along with teachers Kerry Hanrahan, Shannon Henderson and Marie McLaughlin, as well as student Andres Rosiles, were also recognized by the board for assisting in the life-saving efforts.
  Girardi was recognized by the board the same night for being named the 2015 State School Nurse of the Year by the Illinois Association of School Nurses. She previously worked in obstetrics and pediatrics before becoming a school nurse.
  “It appealed to me to want to work with children and families with special needs in their more typical environments,” Girardi said. “It was the best decision I ever made.”
  Working in several elementary schools and a middle school, Girardi has been a certified nurse for U-46 for 16 years, this being her first at Streamwood High School.
  “High school students are in the process of getting comfortable with the person they are becoming,” Girardi said. “They’re interested in learning more about caring for themselves, developing healthy living skills and learning more about health conditions.”



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