Oak Street School Staff Provide Support for Student Severely Injured in Friday’s Fatal Fire

PHOTO: Since Enoch A. was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries sustained in Friday’s fatal fire which killed his brother, he has been receiving constant support from teachers and staff from the Oak Street School – where he’s a student.

Enoch, 8, who suffers from Autism, is a student in Stephanie Nielsen’s Multiply Disabled, Self Contained classroom. When Stephanie arrived at school on Friday morning, Principal, Joe Schropfer, asked her and paraprofessional Victoria Amogretti to ride up to Monmouth Medical Center to sit with Enoch until a family member could be reached. They arrived at 9:00 am on Friday morning, and have not left his side since, as Enoch has no extended family in the area.

State PBA Delegate Officer Steve Kelusak, says he has been amazed at the dedication of the teachers.

“The outpouring of support had been amazing”, says Kelusak, who is involved in seeing that the victim and his family are cared for. “Phone calls from staff members volunteering their time, money, or anything else the family may need.”

By the end of the school day Friday, a donation from the staff members was given to Nielsen for anything that Enoch may need.

Friday night, Oak Street Principal Joe Schropfer arrived at the hospital with bags of clothing for Enoch and his little brother Kevin.

Since then, many staff members have already come to the hospital bringing toys, blankets, books, clothing, and food to make Enoch’s stay as comfortable as possible.

Due to Enoch’s disability however, he can not express his wants and needs easily and frustrates and becomes upset with unfamiliar faces. So the teachers Enoch recognizes, became family – and a personal nurse.

 “Not only were they there for emotional support, they also had to assist the doctors and nurses with breathing treatments, changing of bandages, changing of clothes and more as he only responds and trusts certain people”, Kelusak said.

At 3 am Sunday morning, LEA union rep Chris Mcconnell, from the Oak Street School, went to the hospital to relieve Nielsen and Amogretti from their around-the-clock duties.

District wide and community fundraisers are already underway to ensure the family has everything they need to begin their lives over.

“It is a tragic event”, Kelusak tells TLS , “but it fills our hearts to watch such an outpouring of love for Enoch, his family, and our community.” TLS.

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  1. Wow! Stephanie Nielsen, Victoria Amogretti and staff at Oak Street School, you are inspiring. Enoch and his family are blessed to have people like you around them.

  2. God has blessed the Lakewood School District with these loving, caring, and compassionate teachers.

    There are no adequate words in the English language to describe the love and trust for them as they nourish this child’s spirit, help ease his pain, and encourage him to understand that he is not alone.

  3. Good Job!! Having worked in the Lakewood Schools including in Oak St School (as a special ed teacher) for more than 20 years, I am not surprised at this outpouring of love and devotion from the school community. It is just the way most teachers think! Their kids come first and they will do most anything to keep them safe and help them in any way possible.

  4. These teachers are really special. What a heartwarming story in the midst of this tragedy. Best wishes to Enoch & his family as they recover.

  5. This is what Lakewood Public Schools are all about! Our teachers love what they do. You will not find a more dedicated group anywhere!!! Knowing these extraordinary ladies personally is a priceless gift. You inspire all of us to be better people, teachers, & friends. Thank God Enoch has you!!!

  6. What these lakewood teachers have done and continue to do on a constant basis does not surprise me at all. What does surprise and Upset me is that given what these wonderful people have done,
    ONLY 8 people in lakewood commented!

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