Teachers dive into life guarding

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With the purchase of the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, STH has acquired a new pool. Now some of the school’s most prestigious faculty members are being called to become lifeguards.

The pool of the Joplin Campus will never be safer with these heroic volunteer lifeguards.

There are 12 faculty members answering the call who attended a rigorous, three part information session that included a 300 yard freestyle or breaststroke swim without stopping, diving to retrieve a 10 lb. brick from the deep end and bring it back to the shallow end in a minute forty or less and lastly treading water for two minutes using only legs.

But pool exercises are not the only activities the faculty will be doing. The guardians will also head back to swim school and learn from informational videos. Note taking was required.

The training started right after school on Friday, September 17 when the volunteer lifeguards had to complete their first task: swim three hundred yards. Not all lifeguards succeeded here.

Daniel Bryant, a new Chemistry teacher at St. Thomas, is also a new lifeguard
Daniel Bryant, a new Chemistry teacher at St. Thomas, is also a new lifeguard

The remaining lifeguards tried their hand at rescuing a brick at the bottom of the pool. Those who made it past this time trial moved on to the treading water test.

This is survival of the fittest. Only the strongest survive.

The gang spent the weekend reviewing their water skills, CPR skills, first aid skills and learning how to use the automated external defibrillator, or AED for short.

The days were split up into two parts. First, half of the day was spent in the pool working on motor and swimming skills. Second, the lifeguard trainees took a page out of the students’ book and studied instructional videos and their 300 page textbook.

Now, these were not three hour days, no. These were long days. The newly certified lifeguards spent 27 hours over the weekend perfecting their new craft.

New biology teacher Daniel Bryant is a veteran of life guarding. He has been a Red Cross lifeguard since 1994. This was a refresher course for Bryant and allowed him to renew his lifeguard license.

“It can get pretty strenuous.”

-Daniel Bryant, Chemistry teacher

This was not an easy weekend, but the faculty members that remained stuck it out and became the official STH lifeguard core. Like any good leader, Principal Rev. Patrick Fulton, CSB leads the faculty members by example as a Joplin campus lifeguard. Nathan Labus, Sean O’Neill, Jay DeWitt Sebastian Domenech, Casey Johnson, John Kwok, Kenny Martin, Will Nash and Chris Valdez are the remaining faculty members who have completed training and are now official school lifeguards.

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Will, or as most people refer to him as “that kid who drives the Prius.” Once in the second grade, Will wrote to the Houston Zoo about the Okapi exhibit to complain how the tree stump in the middle of the exhibit was disrupting the Okapi’s daily life. Needless to say, the zookeeper had no idea what Will was talking about.

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