By Scott Bleile

At the February meeting of the Laurel School Board, the board presented an award to Ka’Myre Snead, the heroic sixth grade middle school student who saved another student’s life during lunch.

During the meeting, the board also received updates from the schools in the district about what has been happening so far during the school year.

Laurel Middle School sixth grader Ka’Myre Snead, front, received a Certificate of Recognition from the Laurel School Board during their February meeting. Ka’myre saved the life of a fellow sixth grade student by using the Heimlich Maneuver to dislodge a piece of food from the student’s throat. Pictured from left: Middle School Principal Dr. Lisa Records-King, board members, Shane McCarty, Sabrina Isler, President Linda Hitchens, Snead, Brent Nichols, Superintendent Dr. Shawn Larrimore, and Assistant Superintendent Ashley Giska. Photo by Scott Bleile

“I heard a loud raucous in the lunchroom and found a student really upset and crying,” said Laurel Middle School Principal Dr. Lisa Records-King. “I just thought it was a problem and put the student in my office so I could figure out what had happened. After talking with students and staff I found out that Ka’Myre Snead, a 6th grader, had jumped into action and delivered the Heimlich Maneuver on a student who was choking. I went and checked the video in my office. I have never seen anyone choking before.”

“I have watched the video 50 times. It is amazing what Ka’Myre did. The little girl was bent over, people patting her on her back. I saw him jump up and come over and push everyone out of the way. He does the Heimlich on her and it pops out. He then goes down on one knee, he was very upset and other teachers were helping him and the other student. He did not know how to react. The outpouring has been amazing, the fire department is having a lunch for him. He has been on TV. This is a real turning point in his life.”

During the Heimlich maneuver, a person essentially squeezes the choking individual around the chest to apply compressions to help dislodge the object stuck in the individual’s throat.

“I saw it done on TV,” said Ka’Myre. “I have never had training, but I knew I had to try it to help her. I am friends with the girl and just jumped in to help. It has made me realize how important life really is and I am now taking my schoolwork more seriously. It will remain with me the rest of my life.”

Laurel Superintendent Dr. Shawn Larrimore added, “What you did last Tuesday was nothing short of amazing. He jumped in to save the life of another student. We all want to thank Ka’Myre for his actions.”

The board members presented Ka’Myre with a certificate for his heroic actions.

Each board member praised how well the winter sports teams have done this year and are looking forward to boys’ and girls’ basketball making the tournament and the wrestling team competing in the Division II state tourney.

Each school principal then gave updates on happenings within the schools. Laurel Elementary Principal Brandon Snyder highlighted a visit by Governor John Carney on Feb. 27.

Director of Finance Monet Smith reported to the board they have received 89 percent of tax revenues and all revenue is on target for the year. She explained the budget is in good shape so far.

Larrimore also told the board there is a concern with discipline rates rising in the schools.

“We are looking at programs which will help at-risk students both male and female who need extra help. We are looking at outside organizations to help with this issue.”