WARREN, NJ - The Warren Township Board of Education paid tribute to Central School paraprofessional Lauralee Dupper whose recent quick thinking and action saved the life of a student at its November 13 meeting.
“When we had our safety and security audit, one of the things that stood out was that it is important to have training and security cameras in place,” said board president Tia Allocco, as she presented a certificate of recognition to Dupper. “But what’s most important is that the people who are with the students stay calm and spring into action. And that’s exactly what happened on Oct 23.”
On that day, Dupper, who helps to supervise lunch and recess, noticed a student who appeared to be in distress at lunch and performed the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge food that was stuck in the child’s throat. The student immediately recovered, and was evaluated by the school nurse following the incident as a precaution only.
“Ms. Dupper’s quick action prevented a tragedy,” states superintendent Matthew Mingle. “Without a doubt, our school community is a safer place with professionals like Ms. Dupper vigilantly supervising our students.”
Having taken CPR courses offered as professional development by the district school nurses, Dupper was quick to share the credit. “I want to thank [the board] for giving us these courses and the nurses [for the training],” Dupper told board members.
Dupper, who has been employed in the district since 2014 and also serves as a district bus monitor, says she had little time to think as she stepped up on Oct. 23. “You’re frightened because you know what’s happening. No one tells you that. But I knew I needed to help that child. If you just keep calm, you can do it,” says Dupper. “I feel honored that I was able to help one of our children because of the training I received. If we can save one child, it’s worth it.”