Cumberland Valley School District officials accepted a donation of a life-saving device on Monday from an organization honoring a Cumberland County teen whose life was cut short by a cardiac incident.
Julie Walker, director of the Peyton Walker Foundation, presented an automated external defibrillator, or AED, at a Cumberland Valley School Board meeting on Monday night. She was accompanied by district athletic director Michael Craig and school resource officer Wes Schmidt.
Julie Walker is the mother of Peyton Walker, a 2012 graduate of Trinity High School who died at 19. Peyton was studying to become a physician assistant at King’s College in Wilkes Barre when she was stricken by a sudden cardiac arrest related to a genetic heart condition on Nov. 2, 2013, according to the foundation’s website. The 501c nonprofit foundation then was founded by Julie Walker in her daughter’s honor.
So far, the foundation has donated 40 AEDs throughout central Pennsylvania, as well as offering free AED and CPR training to community members, and free heart screenings for youths ages 12-19. In October 2017, around 200 Cumberland Valley students took advantage of screening offered onsite by the foundation, Walker said. A total of five screening sessions have been offered so far for youths throughout the region.
Although the district already has several AEDs throughout each of its buildings, Schmidt will carry the donation with him at all times when on duty for the district, including athletic competitions.
In a related matter, an Eagle View Middle School teacher whose quick actions helped to save a mother’s life was recognized by the school board and Superintendent Frederick Withum III on Monday.
Physical education teacher Bob Wolf was presented with a commendation by Withum for the expedient use of an AED when a parent suffered a cardiac arrest while watching a CV water polo match on Oct. 24, 2017. As a part-time certified athletic trainer for the district, Wolf is trained in the use of an AED.
“We’re very proud of him and we commend him,” Withum said.
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“It was more of a reactionary thing,” Wolf said after the presentation. “Thank God it turned out well.”
Meanwhile, a committee comprising district athletic trainers, nurses, athletic director and school resource officer is working to devise ways to raise AED awareness within the district, including increased location signage. “Some people said to me, ‘If you weren’t there that night,’ they wouldn’t have known where to find an AED,” Wolf said.
In other news, the school board authorized the district to proceed with PFM to request proposals for borrowing $20 million for the Mountain View Elementary School, Winding Creek Middle School and capital maintenance projects.
Of this, $10 million would go toward capital maintenance throughout the district, with the rest going toward final construction costs of the new schools, said Michael Willis, the district’s director of business and support services
In May 2017, the school board approved the issue of a general obligation note to the school district for $10 million from Orrstown Bank with a 2.15 percent interest rate for the new schools. This supplemented the $70 million the district already has borrowed for the project’s ongoing construction.
Willis said the area’s extreme cold temperatures in late December and early January deterred progress on school construction by about two days, but the projects remain on schedule because workers were two weeks ahead of schedule before that.
Also on Monday, the school board approved a resolution authorizing the district to negotiate the purchase of land in Silver Spring Township. The 116-acre lot is located at 31 Old Mill Road bordering Carlisle Pike and is for sale by Realtor firm with an asking price of $1.5 million, Willis said. The land will be used by the district “for future educational purposes as a result of increased enrollments,” Monday’s meeting agenda said.