CLARK, NJ - Valley Road School honored one of their own as a hero recently.   Mr. Nelson Tavares a custodian in the school for many years jumped into action and performed the Heimlich Maneuver when he saw a child in distress.

According to Valley Road School Principal Joe Beltramba, Tavares is a much-loved member of the school community.  He is often in and out of the cafeteria during lunch periods to keep things tidy.

During one of his visits to the lunchroom, Tavares saw Julian Ramos choking and quickly acted to save him.  

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Tavares was recognized during an assembly by students, teachers, staff, and administrators. According to school officials everyone expressed their heart-felt praise and thanks which started with a five-minute standing ovation when Tavares entered the gym.

“You cannot believe the amount of emotions that filled that auditorium, the positive emotions were just incredible,” said Beltramba. 

Students from several classes presented Tavares with thank you cards calling him their hero.  Another student gave him a heart-shaped balloon from her class.  

The Valley Road Teacher Committee, represented by Tony Calandra, Nicole Czarnecki, and Michelle Matesic presented Tavares with a certificate of appreciation, a card from the staff and a gift.             

Ramos brought up the card from his homeroom to present to Tavares.  Ramos was said to be all smiles as he personally thanked Tavares for coming to his aid. Ramos’ mom also thanked Tavares and gave him a gift from the family.

As the assembly ended, each student and staff member individually thanked Tavares as they left the assembly.

 “Mr. Tavares’ quick-thinking and action saved the life of one of our students. We are grateful to have him as part of the Valley Road family,” said Mr. Beltramba.  

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