'My instincts just took over': Gibsonville Elementary School teacher praised after saving student's life


GIBSONVILLE, N.C. — The fast response of a fourth-grade teacher at Gibsonville Elementary helped save a student’s life.

On Dec. 2, during one of the school lunch periods, a fourth-grade boy started choking on his food. Drew Simpson, a fourth-grade teacher at Gibsonville Elementary, was alerted by another teacher inside of the cafeteria that something was going on with one of his students.

“A kindergarten teacher said, ‘I think something is wrong with one of your students,’ and I looked over there and was like, ‘Oh, yeah, something`s definitely wrong.’ He was down on the floor,” said Simpson.

Simpson instincts immediately kicked in as he quickly picked the student up and performed the Heimlich Maneuver. ultimately dislodging the food from his throat.

“I actually had to push him over like a ‘U,’ and I was actually lifting him off of the ground trying to get it out,” said Simpson.

Simpson’s quick thinking in conjunction with his actions saved the boy’s life.

“My instincts just took over and I knew he needed help and I was just thankful that I was there and able to get it taken care of quickly,” said Simpson.

Gibsonville Principal Jessica Bohn appreciates Simpson’s action and was even inspired to require her faculty to undergo first aid training.

“Having had a CPR-certified person in the right place and at the right time, and had that not been the case I`m not sure what the outcome would have been, but it prompted me to now send a lot of my staff members to CPR training,” said Bohn.

Guilford County Schools honored Simpson for his actions and his work by naming him January’s Employee of the Month. They gifted him with a gift card as a token of appreciation.

“I`m not one for the recognition of it I`ve always been taught at a very young age I`ve always been taught to help when you need when you can and do anything you can for people,” said Simpson.

Guilford County School plans to recognize Drew Simpson at the next school board meeting.

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