Carthage Superintendent updates condition of student injured in explosion last week, praises staff for their response


CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Carthage R-9 School District’s Superintendent praises staff in helping save a student injured at the Carthage Tech Center last week.

In a written statement on social media, Dr. Mark Baker says his staff performed potentially life-saving actions without any hesitation.

He also explains how students responded swiftly to direction from the teachers and staff.

The statement says the student, Blake, is walking and responding to questions using a white board, and ready to return to school, but there is still physical healing to be done.

Here is Dr. Baker’s entire statement:

In the midst of chaos, children want and need adults to take control and provide directions.

Friday morning’s incident at South Tech Center exemplified the accuracy of that thought. I will not describe the injury scene; however, please understand our staff performed potentially life-saving actions without giving it a second thought. Within minutes of the accident, 911 was called, students were removed from the room, staff throughout the building and high school provided assistance, parents were notified, and critical first aid was administered. Students listened and followed directions. Staff worked together, sometimes without saying words, to do what was best for Blake and his classmates without regard to their personal well-being.

In traumatic situations, people either step up or step aside. There is no doubt our staff stepped up that day and since the accident. Gage Tiller and Dr. Holley Goodnight went to the hospitals in Carthage and Springfield to help the family process what was happening while other staff members visited Blake. Blake is walking, responding to questions by writing on a whiteboard, and is ready to return to school.

Although the extent of the injuries and type of surgeries needed are still being determined, physical healing is not the only concern we have regarding this accident. As Blake’s mom has repeatedly stated in texts and/or social media posts, please pray for Blake’s teachers and classmates. Our counselors and other staff members have consoled and provided support to our children and adults. Do not be afraid to talk about your emotions!

It is always dangerous to list people who were involved in something, as I fear I might accidentally leave someone out of the story. Nevertheless, I am honored to list the following Tiger family members who stepped up and made a tremendous difference Friday morning:

Tom Howard Jeff Marrs Nathan Enyart Gage Tiller
Justin Maus Holley Goodnight High School administrators and district counselors
Dana Cook Mercy Clinic staff Gregg Wolf Kandy Frazier
Doug Dahlman Officer Shields



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