Teacher Saves 4th Grade Student From Choking

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

GEARY COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) -- A teacher at Grandview Elementary School is being called a hero for her quick actions to save one of her students from choking.

The scary ordeal happened Thursday at the school in Grandview Plaza, located a few miles east of Junction City.

Stephanie Chabon, who teaches 4th grade, was getting ready to administer state assessments to her class when nine-year-old Connie Nellis started choking on a mint each of the students received before their test.

"I felt scared. I felt that if they didn’t get it out that I might die," Connie said.

Chabon says she reacted on instinct as she rushed to the little girl's side.

"They had their math manipulatives on their desks and they always get a little mint before the test. I was getting ready to give directions and all of a sudden Connie jumped up and she was giving me the sign that she couldn’t breathe and I ran over and gave her the Heimlich maneuver and it just took two times and it came right up. She smiled and thanked me and went to get a drink of water," she told WIBW.

Connie got right back to business after the incident and sat down to take her test.

"She got right to work like nothing had happened and so we just continued on," Chabon said.

Connie's mother, Angel Nellis, is a patrol sergeant for the Junction City Police Department who works the night shift. She got the call about her daughter's choking scare just as she was waking up.

"After I got off the phone with the school, I thought, 'That could have been a really, really bad phone call.' I was very, very thankful. I came up to the school and spoke to the principal and the teacher and thanked them personally and hugged my daughter very tightly," Sgt. Nellis said. "I think teachers are the heroes that we should be looking up to."

Chabon says she's been taking first aid classes since college and gets re-certified each year.

"I would do it all over again. Whenever students need help like that you have that background and you know that those classes that you’ve taken are going to pay off and you can immediately jump up and take care of your student if you need to," she said.

"She saved my life and I thanked her," Connie added.

Principal Lynn Inkman praised Chabon, saying: "It was just a very calm, quick reaction to the situation.. We do everything we can to keep the kids safe every day. We watch out for their safety, their well being and do the education piece as well but it's part of the whole child that we're trying to work with so Stephanie was just a shining example of that and we were very glad for that."


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