By Warwick Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. David Leach
Sometimes, reuniting a lost child with her mom is all part of a student’s day.
Alexander Avery, a Warwick Valley High School senior, is a student in the Criminal Justice program. He’s learning about police and security work and when he graduates, he plans to pursue a career in law enforcement.
His Criminal Justice teacher, Eduardo Avila, makes sure the students get plenty of field experience to enhance their classroom studies, so they volunteer during assemblies, games, and public events. They help with crowd control, escort guests to and from authorized areas, remind visitors of school and gym rules, and keep school officials informed if anything out of the ordinary happens.
Alexander was assigned patrol duties during a recent evening of parent/teacher conferences at the High School when he noticed a mom who appeared distressed.
“The lady looked nervous. I asked her if something was wrong and she said her little girl went to use the bathroom with a friend, but only one of the little girls came back,” Alexander said.
Alexander asked the woman for the child’s name and a description. He told her to stay where she was and he then went looking for the girl, and soon found her wandering the halls.
“He recalled a recent class given on ‘stranger danger’ situations with young children,” Mr. Avila said. “He confirmed her identity, asking her what her name was, ensuring he was not asking any leading questions.” There were school staffers nearby, so Alexander told her to stay put. He then reassured her that he would bring her mother to her, and within a few minutes they were reunited.
“She just got turned around and got lost,” Alexander said. “It made me feel good to get them back together.”
Mr. Avila’s Criminal Justice team again came to the aid of a student at a Jan. 20 cheer competition. Four students – Alexander, Robert Hayward, Erick Figueroa, and Eric Warren – were on volunteer security detail when a cheerleader fell ill and felt she may pass out.
“Eric Warren and Erick Figueroa escorted her to a safe area,” Mr. Avila said. “They followed up with her until she felt better and could rejoin her group.”
Each week, Warwick Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. David Leach shines the “The Superintendent Spotlight” on one of Warwick Valley’s amazing students. “Superintendent’s Spotlight” features students who reach goals, face challenges, and are role models to their peers.