Thanks to efforts led by 8th-grade student Zadan Mason and Head School Nurse Kathleen Roebber, University School of Milwaukee was named a Project ADAM Heart Safe School on March 7, the first school in the North Shore area to achieve that designation. The initiative seeks to prevent sudden cardiac death by ensuring AEDs are available and accessible; establishing a written plan and team of CPR/AED-trained staff ready to act in an emergency; and conducting emergency response practice drills.
Mason spearheaded the effort as part of his fall semester Tower Project, which is a student-centered capstone learning opportunity where students pursue a topic of their own interests (read more about Tower Projects on page 26). Mason worked with Roebber, Director of Security Chad Wagner, division heads, and faculty members in all three divisions to spread the word and solicit volunteers to receive the CPR/AED training. He also helped to create a communication plan and organized practice drills. “The most challenging part was creating a communication plan for alerting USM security and volunteer responders of a sudden cardiac arrest,” Mason said. “To do that, we worked with USM administration as well as Lt. Dan Tyk with the North Shore Fire Department. When we conducted our practice drills, the communication plan proved effective.”
Tyk, along with Alli Thompson, the national and Wisconsin administrator for Project ADAM, were on hand to observe the drills in each division and to bestow the designation. “Zadan was really involved with the project from the very beginning,” Thompson said. “It shows how students can be a vital part of getting these programs established. I was very impressed with the USM team. Kudos to Zadan, Kathleen, and everyone at University School for taking this project on and seeing it through to completion.”