During this holiday season, the Hicksville community has something very special to be thankful for — the quick action of teacher, Joseph Surgot, who saved the life of a child!
Surgot, a science teacher at the Hicksville Middle School, was on lunch duty in his building’s cafeteria on October 7, 2011 when he was alerted to a commotion at a lunch table. One of his 7th grade students, 12-year old Kenneth Goubran, was doubled over choking. Surgot ran to the boy and performed the Heimlich maneuver, which he had learned in his First Aid Training course when he became a coach. Kenneth began coughing (a positive sign that he could breathe). As he partially coughed up a mozzarella stick, he took a deep breath that pulled it back in and lodged it even more deeply in his throat. Suddenly Kenneth’s demeanor changed and Mr. Surgot sensed the boy’s panic and instantaneously performed the Heimlich maneuver a second time, which successfully dislodged it.
Surgot who graduated from Boston University in 1993, had majored in Economics. He began his teaching career in Brooklyn where he’d worked for three years. Surgot has been with the Hicksville School District for the past twelve years. He enjoys the challenge of inspiring his students to reach their fullest potential.
Joe was publicly commended by Maureen Bright, Superintendent of the Hicksville Public Schools at the “District-Wide Conference Day for Staff” in early November. He received a beautiful letter from Kenneth’s family expressing their deepest gratitude for saving their son’s life. When questioned about the incident, Joe felt that any teacher would have responded as he had. However, to his colleagues in the Hicksville Congress of Teachers, Joe Surgot, (educator, coach, husband, and father) is a true hero
(Joseph Surgot is a member of Hicksville Congress of Teachers)