Life Principle Gwen Rhodes

Published on January 28th, 2012 | by James Johnson


Principal Jumps In Icy River To Save Student

Principle Gwen Rhodes

Gonic School Principal Gwen Rhodes went above and beyond her duties on Wednesday morning when she dove into an ice covered river to save an autistic child who had stranded himself on ice that was beginning to crack.

The rescue occurred after the boy crossed one section of the river onto a small peninsula behind the school, then ran over to another section of the river that loops around.

Following the boys footsteps into the woods Rhodes heard the boy screaming and ran towards the boys cries for help.

Speaking to the Union Leader the Principle said:

“He looked at me and he said ‘help.’ I said his name and said ‘don’t move’ and just then the ice cracked and at that point he’s going into the water, so I just reacted to get closer to him.”

While Principle Rhodes and the boy were able to touch ground they had to work upstream to avoid a steep embankment which required that she swim with the young boy until they could reach a tree. When Rhodes realized no one had come to help them yet she began to slowly and carefully push the boy out of the water.

After emerging from the woods first responders were on the scene to care for them.

Gwen Rhodes and the student were taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital and treated and released with no major injuries.According to Rhodes she didn’t even realize at the time that the water was cold:

“I think what I want people to know is I did what I did because I was in a circumstance where I had to think quickly,” Rhodes said. “Which is what an educator does every day.”

The Principal says that saving the boy was no different then teaching children everyday, although she admits that right after leaving the hospital she began to talk with her schools staff about how they can avoid such an incident in the future.

Principle Rhodes doesn’t consider herself a hero for what she did, would you disagree with her?



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About the Author

James is a new media professional with more than half a decade worth of experience in the online writing space. He currently serves as the Associate Editor of and the Editor-in-Chief of He also serves as a resident writer for Splash Press Media. In his spare time James consults businesses regarding SEO and Content Development.

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