Wolf Creek Public Schools' (WCPS) School Resource Officer (SROs) Program was honoured for its outreach, educational efforts and work with students in schools, at the Alberta School Boards' Association Fall General Meeting.
The honour was to formally present the ASBA Zone 4 Friends of Education Award to the SROs and WCPS executive and staff involved in the program.
Below is the story that ran in October, when the SRO program was honoured at the ASBA Zone 4 meeting, in advance of the November FGM.
SRO Program Awarded: Wolf Creek Public Schools' SRO Program Receives Friends of Education ABSA Zone 4 Award
The outstanding contributions of Wolf Creek Public Schools' School Resource Officer (SRO) Program have been celebrated, as the program was recently honoured with the Alberta School Boards' Association Zone 4 Friends of Education Award.
The accolade recognizes the dedication and compassion of Const. Michelle Grovet, Const. Lenny Wells, Const. Jeff Hewitt, and Community Peace Officer Dave Lahucik, who work alongside Barb Reaney, WCPS’ Director of Safe and Caring to ensure a safe and nurturing environment for students.
"Across the division feedback from schools has been extremely positive regarding the SRO program,” said Tim De Ruyck, WCPS Superintendent. “Along with promoting positive relationships between youth and law enforcement, the work our SROs do in schools is very complimentary to the work which occurs in classrooms every day."
The SROs are more than law enforcement officers; they are mentors, friends, and pillars of support for students facing challenges. Through presentations, interactions, and initiatives, they actively contribute to creating positive school cultures. From helping a student navigate family struggles to guiding another towards a better path, the SROs' impact resonates deeply within the Wolf Creek communities.
“We are very proud of the work of our SROs and their commitment to schools and students; they are builders of relationships,” said Reaney. “They invest in understanding the school culture, identifying potential risks, and fostering an atmosphere where students feel safe and supported.”
The SROs play a pivotal role in encouraging positive and healthy recreational activities for children and youth. Their engagement ranges from addressing critical issues like bullying and cyberbullying to imparting essential knowledge about topics such as vaping, drugs, personal boundaries, and traffic laws.
“Their dedication to educating our youth is nothing short of remarkable,” said WCPS Vice Chair Lana Thompson. “They don't just look at punitive measures in resolving issues; they explore alternatives like restorative justice. This approach is not just about consequences; it's about healing, understanding, and creating a path forward for those involved.”
Moreover, the SROs ensure their presence is felt beyond formal presentations. Simple gestures like high fives in the hallway, kindness bingo, and positive ticketing for acts of kindness are part of their initiatives. They distribute 'Cop Cards,' allowing students to learn more about them, fostering familiarity and trust.
“In the end, it's about creating a positive and visible image of law enforcement within our schools,” said Thomspson, adding that it's about fostering relationships that last a lifetime and ensuring that students have the knowledge and support they need to navigate the challenges of today's world.
“We are fortunate to have not just one, but four SROs in our Wolf Creek community, each serving their respective areas. Their outreach extends beyond those local boundaries of their own communities, ensuring that every student in need receives vital information and support.”
Wolf Creek’s SROs are currently stationed in Ponoka, Lacombe, Lacombe County, and Blackfalds.
The Friends of Education Award was presented to Wolf Creek and its SROs at the monthly meeting of ASBA Zone 4 reps in September, hosted by Wolf Creek in Ponoka.
Photo Caption: LEFT TO RIGHT: Community Peace Officer Dave Lahucik; WCPS Superintendent Tim De Ruyck; WCPS Board Chair Luci Henry; Const. Michelle Grovet; and Const. Lenny Wells accept the ASBA Zone 4 Friends of Education Award at the Alberta School Boards' Association Fall General Meeting in November from ASBA president, Marilyn Dennis and ASBA executive director, Vivian Abboud.