Carlos Rosales

Carlos Rosales, head custodian at Leesburg's John W. Tolbert Jr. Elementary School, receives a certificate of appreciation from the Loudoun County School Board during a May 11 meeting. Rosales was recognized for performing the Heimlich maneuver on a student who was choking.

A custodian at John W. Tolbert Jr. Elementary School was issued a public commendation Tuesday after saving a choking student on April 28.

Carlos Rosales, lead custodian at the Leesburg school, performed the Heimlich maneuver on an unnamed fifth-grade boy who had a piece of food lodged in his throat.

"I was very impressed with Mr. Rosales' calm and quick actions," Tolbert Elementary Principal Susan Mullen said in a prepared statement.

One of the boy's parents, who asked that their name not be used, said in a statement that their family is "so grateful for [Rosales'] quick thinking and willingness to help our son."

"It is deeply appreciated and we are so fortunate to have Mr. Rosales at Tolbert Elementary because his dedication and concern for the safety and well-being of the students is clear and he should be commended for going above and beyond expectations," the parent wrote.

Mullen added that Rosales' actions were "completely in character," saying he "has been an outstanding lead custodian" since he began work at the school five years ago.

Rosales received special recognition at Tuesday's Loudoun County School Board meeting, during which he was presented with a certificate of appreciation.

Loudoun County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Scott Ziegler read the parent's statement and thanked Rosales on behalf of the school system.

"Thank you for all you do and for looking out for our students," Ziegler said.

Rosales — who declined to be interviewed — is a longtime Loudoun resident and member of the LCPS community, having graduated from Leesburg's Heritage High School in 2009.

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