California Educator

March 2017

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Those in jeopardy are sometimes sur- pri sed that it 's not just adults lending a hand . High school students also join s e a r c h a n d re s c u e e f f o r t s t o p e r f o r m lifesaving work. K-CORPS (Kelseyville Community Orga- nization for Rescue and Public Service) is a unique program that has been in existence since 1975 at Kelseyville High School in Lake County. Taught by Joanie Holt with assistance from Taryn Larson, both mem- bers of the Kelseyville Unified Teachers Association, it's the only program of its kind in California and possibly the nation. Both Holt and Larson are graduates of Kelseyville High who went through the program themselves. Their experiences as students made such a strong impres- sion that they decided to pay it forward and not only continue the program, but strengthen it. B a c k w h e n Ho l t w a s a h i g h s c h o o l student in 1984, she participated in the res- cue of a dentist who crashed his plane into Mount Konocti with two daughters aboard. All the passengers survived. "When we found the airplane, we had to cut a path through the manzanita," recalls Holt, who also teaches PE and health. "e chainsaw snapped, so we had to keep the sur vivors warm by lighting a fire until the firefighters could bring a firefighting convict crew with a new chainsaw and cut a path to the plane. It was very emo- tional and scary. We had to make sure they wouldn't go into shock. I remember think- ing, 'What if this was my family?' " Larson, who teaches math at Kelseyville High, is proud to follow in the footsteps of her former K-CORPS teachers and partner with a school alum. "When I was a student, it was an honor and a privilege to be a member," she recalls. "And today, it still is. I'm just so K-CORPS is taught by Joanie Holt, left, assisted by Taryn Larson. " Through this program, students learn things that very often lead to a career path. They develop leadership skills and confidence. And they are helping so many people in the process." — Taryn Larson, Kelseyville Unified Teachers Association I n rural areas of Northern California, it's not unusual for people to need rescuing. A hiker may wander off the trail; a child might leave a campsite when nobody's looking; a plane crash can require search parties to scour mountainous, densely vegetated areas on foot. Then there are natural disasters such as wildfires and floods. 17 March 2017

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