A fourth-grade teacher at Sinclear Elementary School is being praised as a hero for saving the life of a student.
Emily Harry used the Heimlich maneuver Thursday to save the life of nine-year-old Jagvir Dool, who was choking on a piece of fruit rollup.
"I really don't like all of the attention," Harry said. "I'm not a hero."
Dool started choking inside Harry's classroom during morning snack time.
Emily directed another student to run to the office for help while she performed the Heimlich maneuver.
Harry eventually dislodged a large chunk of fruit rollup from Dool's throat.
"He was making a squeaking sound," Emily said. "I asked him if he was okay. He couldn't talk. Once I turned him around, he was holding his throat. He was gasping for air. His face was white. He had a look of terror in his eyes. I started doing it (the Heimlich maneuver) for 30 seconds and nothing happened. His body was going limp in my arms. He wasn't breathing. Everyone was crying. I kept doing it. I wasn't going to give up. I have three boys of my own."
Coincidentally, Harry's act of heroism occurred on Spirit Day. Students and teachers dressed up as their favorite Super Heroes. Emily didn't wear a costume.
"You never think something like that would happen to you," said Harry, who's been teaching for 13 years. "I don't think of myself as a hero. Any other teacher would have done the same thing. I'm just glad he's okay."
Sinclear Elementary second-grade teacher Jeannie McDaniel was in the front office when Harry was filing an incident report.
"I love every day heroes," McDaniel said. "Police officers, firefighters, doctors. But that's their job. She saved his life. I just really think she should be recognized. It's a heart-warming story."
Harry will be recognized at a Ceres School Board meeting next month.
"We're very proud and thankful," Ceres Unified School District Superintendent Scott Siegel said.
"Obviously, it's a big deal," said Mike Welsh, board trustee. "To me, that's going beyond the call of duty. It would have been a lot bigger story had she not done anything."