News Detail

Safety First

The Steward School
Steward designated a Heart Safe School by VCU 
The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority at The Steward School. With that in mind, faculty and staff are being certified in CPR and AED training. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is a procedure to keep the blood pumping when the heart stops, while an AED (automated external defibrillator) is a portable electronic machine that can get the heart started again after it stops. 

Caring for every member of our school is an essential part of the Steward experience. Steward faculty and staff have participated in CPR training certification for many years; indeed, all Virginia teachers have been required to undergo the training for some time. In addition, Steward coaches have long participated in the training. 

In accordance with the school’s accreditation, all teachers, senior administrators, and head coaches must be CPR, First Aid, and AED certified by the 2024-25 school year. Our nurses have worked hard to ensure that the school is ahead of the game in its level of preparedness. Classes are offered on an ongoing basis, and certification lasts for two years.

AED and Project ADAM
At a recent faculty and staff meeting on campus, School Nurse Becca Heck gave a presentation on Project ADAM, a nationwide initiative that assists schools in establishing a practiced plan to respond to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Without immediate life support measures, SCA can result in rapid death. When treated quickly with CPR and an AED, normal heart rhythm can often be restored. Ms. Heck and School Nurse Kendall Hrabak '04 collaborated on bringing Project ADAM to Steward. 

Named in memory of a teenager named Adam who died as a result of SCA, Project ADAM (Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory), has been responsible for saving more than 200 lives. 

“We will also have ongoing cardiac emergency response drills yearly to help improve our preparedness for and response to SCAs,” she explained. “There are currently seven AED stations throughout campus; in addition, our coaches carry an AED to athletic practices. We’re pleased to offer this vital training to our faculty and staff and to add an extra layer of safety to our school community.” 

Associate Head of School Lisa Dwelle praised Ms. Heck and Ms. Hrabak for their work.

“Becca and Kendall have led this project to pursue our Heart Safe School designation for the last year,” she said. On March 1, Dr. John R. Phillips, medical director of VCU’s Children’s Hospital of Richmond, an affiliate of Project ADAM, presented an official Heart Safe School banner to Steward. Dr. Phillips lauded the nurses’ efforts and said, “Steward is the first JK-12 school in the state of Virginia to receive this designation. Steward is a leader in being prepared, and I congratulate you!” The event was included during ABC affiliate WRIC’s broadcast on March 1. 

Ms. Dwelle added, “Becca and Kendall researched the requirements, implemented the procedures, and trained our faculty and staff on this important life-saving procedure. Thanks to their hard work, and our ongoing commitment to safety, Steward is a designated Heart Safe School.” 


General Contact

The Steward School
11600 Gayton Road
Richmond, VA 23238

phone: (804) 740-3394
fax: (804) 740-1464

Media Contact

If you are a member of the press and would like more information about The Steward School, please contact Director of Marketing and Communications Rachel Williard at or (804) 565-2319.

If you are looking for contact information for a specific Steward employee, please click here.
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