A Voice From the Field: Lessons Learned from John McDonald, Executive Director for Security and Emergency Management, Jefferson County Public Schools, Colorado
When I sat down to talk with John McDonald, a nationally-recognized school security expert, I knew I had to share some of his thoughts and lessons with you. So I recorded our conversation and edited down some key points for you. This is the first conversation in a series we’re calling “The Sound Off.” More on that later this year…
Back to John. This man is quite simply, incredible.
Even though John joined Jefferson County after the Columbine shooting, he has endured three horrendous experiences… things we hope nobody else has to go through… one abduction and two shootings. Suffice it to say, we can all learn from John. He has so much experience, working for 10-plus years in his community, honing communications, processes, and overall security. He knows what works, and what doesn’t.
Sure, John’s commitment to his school community is impressive. But his accomplishments highlight the importance of having someone dedicated to school safety. From the assessments, training, and ongoing discussions he drives, John is involving the whole community and changing perceptions about school safety.
We all thank you, John, for all you do to keep these school communities safe. You are a beacon of strength, a foundation of hope, and thread of connection helping to keep your community strong.
Alissa Parker, Co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools