2024 Education Magazine

Page 22 Excellence In Education Lincoln Daily News January 2024 There is one thing about education and schools that will forever be true: It is always changing and evolving. From curriculum to technology to school safety - schools and the educational system continue to be challenged by state and federal mandates, as well as the ever changing needs of the population. School safety is the number one priority for administrators and staff and has shown some of the biggest changes over the years. Some of those changes include the addition of cameras, both interior and exterior as well as utilizing multiple access points to gain entrance to the building. Safety changes come alongside the increase of school violence and what is learned about such violence. This school year, Chester-East Lincoln (CEL) added a new layer of safety by adding a School Resource Officer (SRO). In partnership with West-Lincoln Broadwell and the Logan County Sheriff’s Office, CEL has added Trent Park as their SRO. Chester East’s SRO Officer Parks a valued member of the school family An SRO serves various capacities, depending on the needs of the school. Some of Officer Park’s duties include making sure the school is secure and safe, educating students and staff about topics related to the law, and building relationships. SROs also provide a visual deterrent for crime by both those inside and outside the building. By being a public figure with authority, one of the goals of an SRO is to assist students to make good choices and stay on the right path. In addition, early education is most effective for long term success, therefore, Officer Park’s connections with the young students is just as important as with the older students. An SRO must be someone that is knowledgeable, trusted and accessible - not viewed as a scary authority figure that contributes to anxiety. Officer Park has become an SRO that students are comfortable with and appreciate. He can be seen eating lunch with students, trying out his wiffle ball skills, or visiting with a student to offer an ear to listen or a voice of reason. It is not uncommon for the school community to see Officer Park at extracurricular activities to support the students and offer support after games to make sure the building is secure when the players and fans have left. Officer Park is not just any SRO, he has become a member of the Panther Family. He serves as a positive male role model that is appreciated and has made a positive impact on our school community. One School. One Family. [Laura Irwin, Administrator]