Photos (2) View All
Jacob Kisner thanked Tilford teacher associate Krista Osborn for saving him from drowning.

Like other teachers and teachers associates, Krista Osborn receives a variety of thank-you notes from students as the school year ends.

But this year, Mrs. Osborn received a letter she says she will treasure forever.

“Thank you for saving my life,” wrote second-grader Jacob Kisner.

Jacob was thanking Mrs. Osborn for diving – while fully dressed – into the deep end of the Vinton swimming pool to save him from drowning on May 29.

Jacob was one of many Tilford Elementary students attending the pool party. The students who are proficient swimmers earned a wrist band that indicated their ability (and permission) to go to the deep end of the pool, where the diving boards are located. Jacob, who had taken some swimming lessons but had not earned a wrist band, somehow got a wrist band from a friend. He dove off of the short board, but soon was struggling to stay afloat.

Mrs. Osborn saw him and immediately dove into the water.

Lifeguard and pool manager Claire Andreesen also responded, but Osborn reached the boy first.

“It was very scary for everyone, but she did a good job of getting him to the side of the pool,” said Andreesen.

Osborn, a teacher associate at Tilford for five years, says one of the things she loves most about her job is its variety. She changes tasks several times each day, helping children with reading and teachers with assignments as she interacts with students from several classrooms and during recess.

Yet, she said she had not imagined what her day would bring when she went to work on May 29.

“The children's safety comes first,” she said.

The next day at school, Jacob gave Mrs. Osborn a heart-felt letter of thanks – and a very, very long embrace.

“It was so sweet,” says Osborn, adding that she tried not to cry.

This is the letter that Jacob gave her:

Dear Mrs. Osborn:

Thank you for saveing my life. I'm sorry for taking a wrist band and it probably broke your heart. I all most died. I promise I'll never go into the deep part again, unless I can swim better.



Osborn says she was in the right place at the right time to help Jacob; she is sure any other staff member would have done the same thing.

“I am so thankful that he is okay. I will never forget him,” she said.

Jacob's mom, Tiffany, said the family was too busy crying for Jacob to be in too much trouble when he got home from school. She, too, is forever thankful to Mrs. Osborn.

“I can't even begin to find the words to describe how grateful myself and my family are to Mrs. Osborn for her heroic act that day. She will always hold a very special place in our hearts,” says Tiffany Kisner.

"He is my life," said Jacob's dad, Ryan Cummings, of his son. "I would like to tell Mrs. Osborn a huge thank you for saving Jacob. The thought of losing my boy is overwhelming. I need to send her a card so she knows she saved my life, too."

Jacob's grandmother, Jackie Osbrosk, also shared her words of thanks.

“I personally think that Mrs. Osborn should receive the recognition that she deserves for selflessly saving Jacob from drowning,” she said.

Earlier, Osbrosk posted this message on her Facebook page:

Sometimes in life, no matter how much you have on your plate, no matter how dark your days may be there is always something to be thankful for...Today I am thankful for Mrs Krista.Osborn from the Tilford Elementary School in Vinton. My grandson Jacob went swimming as a field trip with his class today, he jumped off the board and could not make it up and to the side. Mrs. Osborn who I am lead to believe was fully dressed, dove in the water to save him from drowning... I know she may never see this post but I want her to know that I am so very thankful that God put you there today to save my grandson... I will ALWAYS be grateful for what you did..

Tilford SCI teacher Stephanie Miller said that Osborn''s actions that day are a great reminder of the daily importance of the teacher associates in the VS district.

“Our support staff at Tilford have many many job titles and responsibilities. They will do anything for our students,” said Miller. “I only wish they were better compensated for the jobs they do. We are very lucky to have such highly-skilled and passionate support staff. I try very hard to make sure my associates know how much I need and appreciate them. I would say that the teachers and principal at Tilford do what they can to show our appreciation.”

The challenge keeping children safe in the pool

Andreesen said that school parties and other events where many children fill the pool are a challenge to lifeguards.

“It always freaks us lifeguards out because some kids just don't know the dangers of deep water, and it is so hectic and there are so many children around, it's hard to keep track of everyone,” she said.

In fact, said, Osborn, on the same day she helped Jacob, another Tilford student, a more experienced swimmer, began to tire in the pool and asked another associate to help him get to the side of the pool.

One more gift

Jacob met Mrs. Osborn at the pool two weeks after she saved him. He gave her another hug and a colorful bouquet of flowers. He also said he had learned some lessons that day, and plans to take more swimming lessons, including private lessons this summer.

Submit a Comment

Please refresh the page to leave Comment.

Still seeing this message? Presh Ctrl + F5 to do a "Hard Refresh".

Comments (2)

I truly have no words to express how We will always and forever be grateful for what Mrs Osborn did to save Jacob...Guardian Angels are everywhere! We are so blessed!
By: Jackie Obrosk on June 12th 11:41pm
I do not feel deserving of any special recognition. I believe anyone should and would help a child, or anyone, who cannot help themselves, and I witness examples of that everyday at Tilford Elementary. I have the privilege of working with some of the most caring, compassionate and truly selfless people who go above and beyond for their students on a daily basis. Most are not rewarded with recognition or compensation. Their reward is knowing that they make a difference in the life of a child. I look up to these people and strive to be like them. They are my heroes.
By: Krista Osborn on June 13th 2:35pm

To receive each day's headlines to your inbox sign up for our email updates.