A school principal is often referred to as the “captain” of his or her ship. When a principal is new, sometimes you hear it said, “There is a new sheriff in town.” But rarely do you find the principal (new or a veteran administrator) actually is also really a deputy sheriff.
Unless, of course, Marie Waldrop is your school’s principal. Marie is a veteran educator who has served the past 11+ years as principal of Irmo Middle School in Irmo, South Carolina. She is also a well respected and highly acclaimed reserve deputy sheriff for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
I met Marie earlier this year as we toured the South Carolina for a series of workshops I presented in four cities over four days for educators and law enforcement professionals. She was a part of the team from the U.S. Attorney ‘s Office, South Carolina Department of Education, South Carolina Association of School Resource Officers, and others who organized the 19th annual South Carolina school safety conference.
Listen to Marie’s leadership perspectives on the role of school safety, emergency planning, and school resource officers (SROs) from the lens of a veteran school principal:
It was not surprising for me to learn why, given her rich and diverse background, Marie also serves on the board of the South Carolina Association of School Resource Officers. Her no-nonsense, yet compassionate and caring, traits blend together to make a principal who is firm with discipline, has no tolerance for crime on campus, makes crisis planning a top priority, and recognizes the importance of all of these elements in creating a safe and supportive school environment which is conducive to enhanced academic achievement.
It is for these reasons I am pleased to recognize Marie Waldrop as a “School Safety Leader”!*
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*”School Safety Leaders” are individuals on the “front lines” of education who have demonstrated proactive leadership in addressing school safety, security, and/or crisis preparedness.