ROISD Bestowed the First ‘Maroon Star Award’ For Heroic Achievements

three ladies with boy
Photo credit Red Oak ISD

(RED OAK, TX) — Red Oak ISD staff are trained in a variety of professional aspects relevant to their teaching field or position, but all staff also take hours of training for the safety and security of students and peer educators.

That training paid off recently when a teacher at Shields Elementary noticed one of her students choking in the cafeteria. While other staff called for the nurse and campus principal, Christie Finley, a 3rd-grade teacher, jumped into action! She quickly positioned herself and began performing the Heimlich maneuver on Christopher Markwardt.

After three abdominal thrusts, she was able to clear the blockage and Christopher could breathe again.

“We are very proud of Ms. Finley’s actions,” exclaimed Shields Elementary Principal Allyson Bell. “Not only on March 4 when she jumped into action to save a student’s life, but of her actions every day to build relationships with her students while providing them great instruction!”

The Maroon Star Award is modeled after the US Military Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement/service. Only Red Oak ISD staff and students, currently employed or enrolled, are eligible for the Maroon Star Award for a heroic act that is a lifesaver.

On Monday, March 28, 2022, Ms. Finley was presented the award by Superintendent Brenda Sanford at the ROISD Board Meeting. She was joined by Shields Elementary Principal Allyson Bell and Christopher, who brought her a bouquet of flowers and a card. Ms. Finley received a certificate and the first bestowment of the Maroon Star Award medal.

“It is truly an honor to celebrate our staff and all the amazing things they do,” stated Superintendent Brenda Sanford. “It is an honor like no other when you step into a life-threatening situation and save someone by your actions! Ms. Finley is the highest example of leaving a legacy through service to others.”