Ozark SRO, Principal Recognized for Life-Saving Response
On Aug. 22, the Ozark Board of Education recognized Ozark East Elementary Principal Karen Capen and Ozark School Resource Officer John Wilkerson with the Ozark School Hero Award for taking actions that helped save the life of an Ozark parent.
Last May, Capen, who then served as assistant principal at East, notified the Ozark School Police after multiple failed attempts to reach a parent, which she found very concerning.
School Resource Officer John Wilkerson responded to the home where he discovered the parent was not breathing. He placed the parent in a rescue position until they began breathing. Wilkerson then stayed on scene until EMS arrived.
“This just shows you how much our staff not only care, but pay attention to the little details,” said Ozark Executive Director of Student Services Dr. Kim Fitzpatrick. “Our staff cares deeply about students, and Mrs. Capen’s connection with East families helped save a life.”
Director of School Police Capt. Mark Deeds said the six Ozark School Resource Officers are highly trained in emergency procedures and basic life support.
“Our officers are always ready to respond, even when it may be off our school campuses,” Deeds said. “Undoubtedly, without the action of these two school employees, the parent may not have survived.”