Déjà vu all over again for School Resource OfficerMill Creek policeman patrols the same hallways he roamed as a student only 10 years ago
There is a comfortable familiarity when Marc Schuermeyer exchanges high-fives with students as he strolls past classrooms at Jackson High School. Teachers break into huge smiles when they see their former pupil dressed in his crisp blue uniform as a member of the Mill Creek Police Department.
“Its gonna get a little crazy,” he warns anybody within earshot when he hears the bell releasing students to move to their next class.
Schuermeyer eagerly volunteered to serve as the School Resource Officer at his alma mater last year. The assignment was something he had envisioned for himself a decade ago when he was a student at Jackson. The native son graduated from Jackson and played on the Timberwolves baseball team that captured the state 4A baseball crown in 2006
“There’s no doubt that the assignment to serve and protect the students and staff was what motivated me to become a police officer in the first place,” said Schuermeyer. “At first, it was my only opportunity to get off the night shift. But I will not deny that working from 7 until 3 has advantages with a young family.”
The officer has been married to his college sweetheart for three years. The couple has a 2-year-old son and another baby on the way.
Violence on high school and college campuses across the country have brought an increased need for the visibility of a policeman to serve as a deterrent on campus, however, Schuermeyer believes many of the challenges students face in 2017 remain the same as when he was a student.
His day-to-day duties at Jackson range from serving as the romantic advisor for budding relationships to private conversations about the troubles students have at home. “Officer Marc” is blunt with students who share information about situations he considers dangerous.
“Students know they can come up to me in the hallway or ask to talk privately in my office,” he said. “They know I am, first-and-foremost, a police officer. It is my sworn duty to report on incidents of abuse, whether it is at home or from another student.”
Schuermeyer declined to comment on reports of other campus officers in other parts of the country who have reportedly gotten physical while disciplining students. He is grateful that he has not had to face an armed intruder at Jackson or deal with threats of a rogue student with a weapon.
He credits the staff and faculty at Jackson for the positive attitude of students at the four-year high school. The police officer said he was not surprised to learn that the graduation rate at Jackson surpassed the average rate for other high schools in the Everett School District and throughout Snohomish County.
“Principal (Dave) Peters has instilled a team approach to education that goes beyond the classroom. It is a team approach,” said Schuermeyer. “Teachers and administrators are involved of the success of every student, whether or not it’s one of their own. From my viewpoint, it is easy to see why the graduation rate continues to climb and why students leave Jackson prepared to go to college or take on the world.”
The school resource officers normally rotate duties every 2 to 3 years. Schuermeyer said he will step aside when his term ends.
“I would not want to deny another officer the opportunity to serve at the high school. It’s a plum assignment,” Officer Marc said with a wide smile. “It is definitely something that I’ll want to do again.”
Peters had equally high praise for his School Resource Officer, describing Schuermeyer as “a natural” at his job. He said previous officers assigned to Jackson were effective in their duties and did an excellent job of building trust with students. Having a young officer who was also a student at the school, he said, has helped create an immediate bond with both students and teachers.
“An outsider can come in and try to establish relationships,” said Peters. “But there is no denying the player in the photo of the champion baseball team that hangs on the wall of the Main Office.”