They wake up earlier than most of us every day because they want to get to school well before the students. I’m sure they left the house that morning as they do every day expecting a normal day full of fun and learning with students. When they arrived at work and stepped out of their car, they saw a colleague being assaulted by a man nearly twice each of their size. Without hesitation Mrs. Rohrer, a fellow teacher, sprung to action and jumped on the man to stop her friend from further injuries. Mr. Rohrer also jumped in and eventually they pulled the man off her and the attacker fled the scene. The rest of the story has been well documented, he later turned himself in to the Sheriff’s office and the teacher was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover. Our Sheriff, Jim Agnew, has clearly stated that these teachers saved our colleague’s life.
In rural communities like Goochland, we like it quiet and we want the crime more often seen in urban areas to stay far away. In a flash, on December 5, our small community was shocked and saddened by a brutal attack on one of our teachers. In many areas, the attack and/or the school’s response to the matter would be the primary story, but due to the actions of Doug and Ann Rohrer, Goochland showed that we are better than that. They put themselves in harm’s way to save their colleague’s life. In time, people will likely forget the attack and all the sadness and concern we have about what happened, but I want to make sure that we never forget these heroes. Let’s remember what they did and allow it to inspire us. I believe that as teachers, we get into education to make the world a better place. The Rohrers were humble, they didn’t ask for recognition and turned down interviews with the local media. Their only statement was:
“It was only through prayer and the presence of God that we did what we were able to do. We were so grateful as well to be helped by a host of amazing GMS & GHS faculty family! Most importantly we thank God that our colleague will get well! We love her!”
I don’t know about you, but I am inspired. We work our entire careers to make the world a better place by improving the lives of children and the Rohrers have given me another example of excellent humanity. If heroism is the intersection of chance encounter and great character, then I hope that if I am faced with the same situation, that I make the choice to save someone’s life. As a superintendent and a parent, I want all children to have teachers like Mr. and Mrs. Rohrer, because if they can teach their students to have even half the bravery and character that they have, then I know that all the children in Goochland will live in a better world.
I woke up on Thursday and everything seemed better in this world. Because of these teachers, I want to be a better leader, a better father, a better husband, and a better teacher. As I have done “meet and greets” to get to know the community, I have told people that my goal is to learn what it is that is so special about Goochland. On Wednesday, it became obvious, it’s the people. For those of us with children in Goochland, just remember, your kids are being taught by heroes.