Letter from the Principal

Brandon Wojcik

What will you do when your moment comes?

As I’m sitting at a meeting at Eden High School last Wednesday, my Superintendent, Mr. Taylor receives a phone call and steps out of the room.  When he returns, he says something no school administrator ever wants to hear: “There has been a bus accident!”  He has no other information and promptly excuses himself from the meeting to rush to the scene.  Moments later he calls me from the road and tells me that one of my students is involved, but has no serious injuries.  As I’m on route to the scene, so many things are going through my head and I do my best not to imagine the worst.

I arrived to the most horrific scene I can imagine, a school bus on its side surrounded by firemen, police and EMS workers.  Two ambulances and two fire trucks, multiple police agencies, all doing their part to take care of those involved in the accident.  I was relieved when one of the EMS workers confirmed that there were no major injuries and directed me to the ambulance where my student was being evaluated.  As I was about to enter, a State Trooper stopped me and said “I think you should know, your boy in there is a hero.”  I paused for a moment and then went in to see Zeke to see for myself that he was okay.

I started with the obvious: “Are you okay?” and “what happened?”  When I asked him what happened after the bus came to a stop on its side, he simply said he was just trying to help.  Even in my conversation with him the next day, he wasn’t really able to shed any light on the Trooper’s statement about his heroism.  It wasn’t until the investigation began to unfold that I truly understood that Zeke was exactly as the Trooper described: a hero.

Within two seconds of the bus coming to rest on its side and Zeke making a hard landing on the windows, he stood up, picked up his phone and dialed 911 as he walked towards the front of the bus to make sure everyone was okay. When he lost the cell signal, he calmly opened the roof exit and stepped out to complete the call and relay their location.  He then came back inside and helped the first staff member out of her seat and through the roof exit, and then returned to do the same for the driver.  I realized it couldn’t have been any better or more perfect of a response if he had rehearsed it 100 times.  It was almost like he was meant to be there at that moment and help those people.

I have had a week now to reflect on the incident and find myself wondering what I would have done in that moment?  Would I have acted with such intention and purpose?  Would anyone?  Zeke had a moment where he had an opportunity to act with compassion, ignore his own well-being, and help others, and he took it.  And for that, I am truly grateful. 

What will you do when your moment comes?


Brandon F. Wojcik
Jr.-Sr. High School Principal


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