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Nurse honored for saving student from choking

By Carolina Astrain
Dec. 20, 2012 at 6:20 a.m.

Becky Mattocks

IF YOU GO

WHAT: VISD Board of Trustees regular monthly meeting

WHEN: 6 p.m. Jan. 17

WHERE: Education Center Board Room, 102 Profit Drive

Quick thinking led a Victoria school district nurse to popping a carrot stick from a student's throat in mid-November.

At Thursday night's regular school board meeting, trustees honored Becky Mattocks of DeLeon Elementary School for her heroic efforts.

Mattocks was named "Employee of the Month."

"It lasted a little while, but thank goodness it finally came out," Mattocks said. "There was a moment where we thought we might have needed to call EMS."

As a registered nurse the past 22 years, Mattocks described the districtwide recognition as one of the most humbling moments of her career.

Mattocks learned of her nomination at a company Christmas party at the PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar about the second week of December.

"I was completely surprised," Mattocks said. "I didn't even know we could be nominated."

The student - who remains unidentified because of school privacy laws - and his family thanked her the next day, the school nurse said.

"He wrote me a little 'thank you' note," Mattocks said. "We've always been great friends. These are my babies."

In other business, board members approved each item on Thursday's agenda with unanimous votes.

Action items included: offers to purchase tax sale properties, a Foreign Trade Zone letter of support to Caterpillar Inc., the approval of an additional off-campus physical education program, the approval of Campus Priority Goals for 2012-13, the acceptance of donations and gifts and the renewal of property insurance.

Goals posed by the individual campuses were vague, but will be tailored to meet specific needs in the spring, said Susanne Carroll, executive director of curriculum, instruction and accountability.

Building student confidence and sustaining parent involvement were part of Patti Welder Magnet Middle School's list of preliminary goals.

Patti Welder is one of the 33 campuses in the state to have received a three-year Title I priority school grant, scheduled from Aug. 1, 2011, through June 30, 2013.

The $3.8 million grant has allowed the district to maintain the lowest student-to-teacher ratio in the district with 13 students for each teacher in a classroom.

"A lot of that is driven by the district Title I grant we receive from the state," said Patti Welder principal, Richard Wright. "I've been blessed with a great faculty this year."

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