Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
PACKWOOD — Pekin Community School District will have a school resource officer for the first time, starting this upcoming school year.
The district has contracted with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to have Deputy Angie Pohren in the school at least 15 hours per week, and this will cost the district between $19,000-$20,000 per year. Pohren said she is looking forward to working with the district’s educators, students and parents to provide a safe school environment.
Apart from providing a visible law enforcement presence, Pohren will conduct presentations for various grade levels. She said this will be a continuation of work she did with the school last year.
“Last fall during Red Ribbon Week, I designed an interactive PowerPoint about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and presented to students in pre-K — 4th grade,” Pohren said, noting that she did 25 presentations for Pekin and Fairfield school districts. “I learned that I really like being able to make the learning aspect creative and fun.”
Pohren will be an informal counselor and mentor to the students. She hopes to create, build and maintain “authentic relationships” with all the students as an “active listener and role model.”
Pekin Community School District Board of Directors President J.J. Greiner said it is a blessing to work with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and thanked the sheriff’s office, Jefferson County Board of Supervisors and former Pekin Superintendent Kevin Hatfield for working together to create this position.
“[Pohren] is not just a school resource officer. She’ll engage with and interact with the kids,” Greiner said. “The bottom line is, we just want our kids to be safe.”
Greiner said the district has spent the last year looking into hiring a school resource officer. During that time, Pohren attended three training courses to become certified through the National Association of School Resource Officers. She gave a presentation to the school board about putting her talents to use at Pekin, and the board liked the idea.
Pekin School Superintendent Derek Philips, who began his duties July 1, said he is excited to see Pohren begin her new duties with the district and to continue building relationships with the student body.
“Police are not just there to pull you over for doing bad things, they can help guide some of the students’ decisions and help them stay on the straight and narrow,” Philips said. “We want to take a proactive approach, and having [Pohren] in the building will help us be proactive instead of reactive.”
Call Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or email him at email@example.com