The topic of safety in schools has been a topic of heightened importance in recent years following a series of highly-publicized shootings across the country and Sherman Independent School District’s school board took time this week to recognize some employees that make sure students return from school in the same state that they left for school.
Both weeks of recognition will be held from Oct. 21 through Oct. 27 and is being observed by both the National School Safety Center and National Association for Pupil Transportation.
“I would just like to recognize all school safety efforts, especially with what has happened in the last few years,” SISD Director of Safety & Transportation Brett Counce said. “It’s those recent events that make this something of national awareness.”
In total, the district employs about 50 employees in safety and transportation ranging from about 30 bus drivers, administration to school resource and daily officers on campus.
“Significant progress is being made to ensure that all of our nation’s schools are safe, secure and productive,” the National School Safety Center said on its web page. “At the forefront of this movement are hundreds of exemplary school, district, state and national programs. To recognize these successes and encourage others, October 21-27, 2019, has been proclaimed America’s Safe Schools Week.”
On an average school day, the district transports about 2,000 of the district’s 7,500 students to or from school. By comparison, Sherman High School currently houses about 1,900 students.
As a part of Tuesday night’s recognitions, Counce presented a video featuring many of the people who provide safety and transportation from behind the scenes. One of the individuals who was highlighted in the video is Officer Tim Gann, who serves as the resource officer at Sherman High School. Gann is currently the only permanent officer in the district, with other Sherman Police officers rotating at different campuses.
Many of the department’s efforts go under the radar many times, and it does not have as much of a public face as other departments within the district, including teachers and principals. However, their contributions are as important to the operations.
“I believe they (transportation) are such a vital part of the district,” Counce said. “I don’t think we are overlooked by the district administration, but we can be by the general public.”
In recognition for the week, Counce said he plans to highlight and recognize various staff members on social media and hold a cookout with first responders from Sherman and Grayson County.