LEONARDTOWN, Md. – Today, Feb. 15, 2022, is National School Resource Office Appreciation Day, established by the National Association of School Resource Officers.
All three public high schools and four public middle schools in St. Mary’s County have School Resource Officers assigned to them, provided by the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, a program that first began locally in the 1998-1999 school year.
Corporal Gerard Muschette has been the School Resource Officer at Great Mills High School for three years. It was an assignment that the Corporal sought out voluntarily.
“I wanted to help the kids. I saw a problem in some of our youth,” in the challenges they faced, “not having a good direction,” Muschette said.
Muschette said he personally speaks to students each school day, not just about problems they may be having, but about issues in everyday life. There are about 1,700 students attending the school.
The most rewarding part of his job as a School Resource Officer “is seeing the transformation of the kids,” Muschette said, in seeing them overcome challenges, seeing them mature, seeing them graduate and having a career or educational plan after high school – “seeing these kids grow into young men and women and knowing I’m a part of that,” he said.
“It’s going to take the community to make sure our kids, who are our future, continue to go on the right path,” he said.
Cpl. Muschette has been with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office for eight years, is a School Resource Officer, a member of the Emergency Services Team and also coaches football at Great Mills High School.
Captain Steven Hall, Commander of the Special Operations Division, which oversees the School Resource Officers, said, “I am proud of all of our School Resource Officers and the important role they play in the daily lives of students. Our officers serve as mentors, problem solvers and positive role models; they truly make a difference in students’ lives.”
DFC Artina Alvey is the School Resource Officer for Margaret Brent Middle School.
Cpl. Shaun Carberry is the School Resource Officer for Leonardtown Middle School.
Deputy Robert Chase is the School Resource Officer for Esperanza Middle School.
Cpl. Jaime Davis is the School Resource Officer for Leonardtown High School.
Cpl. Blaine Gaskill is the School Resource Officer for Chopticon High School.
Cpl. Dustin McClure is the School Resource Officer for Spring Ridge Middle School.
The National Association of School Resource Officers said that local School Resource Officers serve as important conduits between youth, law enforcement and the community and that officers “deserve unwavering respect and support from the public in the pursuit of keeping schools and students safe.”