Teacher honored for rescue efforts in Pembroke Hill school bus crash

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. - The teacher who helped clear her students out of an overturned bus in August received the Kansas Highway Patrol's highest civilian award Tuesday.

Jodi Stallard insists she was just doing her job, but that did not stop law enforcement from honoring her for her actions.

Back on Aug. 21, Stallard and her 36 students from the Pembroke Hill School were on a trip when the bus driver went into diabetic shock as they were exiting from K-7 highway.

The driver lost control and the bus flipped onto its side.

Stallard immediately jumped into action, opened the overhead escape door and began moving the students out of the bus to safety.

She then helped the driver.

Following the incident, Bonner Springs High School served as a meeting point to reunite the students from the bus with their parents.

It was in that same high school's auditorium where the Kansas Highway Patrol gave Stallard the "Honorary Trooper Award."

"We don't hand out this award, we don't hand out this certificate out easily. we save it for people who truly go above and beyond the call of duty." Colonel Ernest E. Garcia, with the Kansas Highway Patrol said.

During her acceptance speech, Stallard thanked the other members of the public who helped her at the accident scene that day, as well as her students.

""I really want to acknowledge the bravery of the 6th grade girls that day of Pembroke Hill. They were quick to react and intuitive to each other's' needs. I hope they know how proud I am of them and the actions on that day," Stallard said.

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