Shamokin Area student shows quick, heroic action
COAL TOWNSHIP - A freshman from Shamokin Area was recognized Tuesday for his quick thinking in helping an injured elementary student at the high school swimming pool.
Three weeks ago, an elementary student who entered the water from the pool deck accidentally caused a swimming pool basketball hoop to topple onto him, cutting his head in the process.
Dexter Haight, who was assisting physical education teacher Connie Boyer during the elementary swim class, jumped in after the boy, kept him above water and helped Boyer remove him from the pool.
The child was not knocked unconscious and did not suffer serious injury, Chris Venna, high school principal, said after Tuesday's meeting of the Shamokin Area School Board.
Once the elementary student's bleeding was stopped and it was determined he did not suffer serious injury, Haight carried him to the high school nurse's office.
He said Haight's actions prevented any blood from mixing into the water.
"He jumped in and didn't hesitate one minute," Venna said. "He's your normal student, you're typical student. When there is an opportunity for him to take the lead on something, he didn't hesitate."
Haight is a member of the high school swim team and also is working to become an Eagle Scout. A shy person, Venna said he had to trick Haight into coming to Tuesday's meeting since he was reluctant to be recognized.
Haight took the opportunity to say something short about his grandfather, who is hospitalized. "I wish he was here with me right now," he said, after which he received loud applause from the board and an audience of about 40 people.
Boyer also was commended by Venna for her actions.
In separate remarks, five district employees of the elementary annex were recognized for recently helping a lost child.
Mike Bradley, Shannon Fetterman and Kelly McElwee, along with Maria Dombrowski and Deb Paul, both of whom were not in attendance, were thanked by the board for helping a 4-year-old boy who wandered away from his home.
Board Director Ed Griffiths, who is employed as Shamokin's police chief, said the boy's mother wasn't at fault. The child snuck away with a hat and coat with the intent to walk to his grandparent's home nearby and got lost along the way.
The employees cared for him at the annex building before he was reunited with his mother.