Stapp Inspires Educator Highlight – A Change in Definition

Welcome back to our monthly Stapp Inspires Educator Highlight series. We are starting our second year of highlighting those individuals in the district who are inspiring those around them to reach their full potential. We are excited to share their stories as we go throughout the year.

To begin the 2018-2019 school year we start at Sunset Middle School with School Resource Officer (SRO), Scott Pierce. The very first thing he admitted to me was that he didn’t think he qualified for our recognition, because he wasn’t an “educator”. In the traditional sense of how we define an “educator” he is completely correct. Scott has been on the Longmont Police Department force for 33 years. He has spent his entire career serving the city of Longmont, and for the last 10 years he has split his time between Sunset Middle School and Altona Middle School. By any standard definition Scott is a police officer. However, he is actively challenging what an educator is within the district. He does this in the most graceful and sincere way.

Scott Pierce

 

Before Scott became a SRO he spent time on patrol and was a detective with the Youth and Family Crimes Department. Eventually he transitioned back to patrol and started working with the Longmont Police Cadets. He has spent his entire career working with kids in one way or another. When the position to be an SRO opened up he jumped at the chance to continue his work with students. Make no mistake, Scott has the composure and confidence of someone who has been on the job for 33 years, but a compassionate side kept shining through our conversation.

After interacting with adults on patrol for so many years Scott has a unique view when he enters his school each day. He sees each student as someone who has great potential. This attitude doesn’t change when he is called to assist with discipline. Instead of making quick decisions on the street, Scott has an entire year to interact and work with a student. He says that students have a great capacity to change, and if minor problems are caught early, most students will make better choices and get back on the right path. He gets great satisfaction helping students – and parents – understand the consequences of their actions and steering them to make better choices. He is truly concerned with what is in the best interest of the student. Scott views his school as his school and certain behaviors will not happen in his school. He begins every student conversation in this manner and in the end, encourages the student to view their school in the same manner.

The biggest part of Scott’s job is not discipline, but forming relationships with the teachers, staff and students. From time to time you might catch him in a classroom teaching a lesson or discussing the Constitution in a history class and how it relates to everyday life. He might be in a health class conducting a unit on drugs and alcohol recognition. In each case, he is giving his students a different perspective on how the world works. Students love having him come in a teach, and it’s not hard to understand why. On the day of our our interview, he mentioned that later in the afternoon he would be refereeing a school basketball game – students vs. teachers.

Our conversation started to look ahead to what comes next. After 33 years on the force, Scott’s retirement is on the horizon. One thing Scott was adamant about was his retirement as a SRO for Sunset/Altona Middle Schools. He has no desire to do anything else. He truly enjoys his work and wouldn’t trade the relationships he’s established for anything.

Every once in awhile, Scott will work at a Niwot or Silver Creek High School football game. He says kids will call out to him from the stands – waving – ready to share what they’re up to. Scott has a strong sense of pride when it comes to visiting former students. To see his students prosper and on the right path means the world to him.

 

Scott, thank you for taking the time to meet with us. The impact you are having on the students, teachers and administrators in your school is far reaching. We wish you the best!

 

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Stapp Inspires Educator Highlight-A Reflection

We started out on this journey June 2017 to highlight the teachers, staff, administrators in the St. Vrain Valley Schools who inspire those around them. We had an idea of the type of people that we were going to meet and learn about. But each and every time we have left the interview completely blown away.

My name is Erin Wuestenberg, I’m the Digital Marketing Manager at Stapp Interstate Toyota. I have been the on the other side of the screen sharing the stories of the district this past year. I wanted to give a little insight on how our interviews are done. I have a few questions that I ask each person I’m highlighting such as, how long they have been with the district, educational background, etc. I don’t research anyone before I meet them, and I love the adventure of finding out why they were chosen to be highlighted. 

By taking this approach I have been fortunate to hear some beautiful stories. Without a planned list of “questions to ask”, I have been able to notice little things in the environment. Perhaps it was a 5k sticker, a picture from a parade, a student drawing or a college t-shirt, that opened the door to those moments where I was left encouraged and inspired. I hope I have been able convey to you, how incredible these people are. And how fortunate we are to have them apart of SVVS.

To everyone I had the opportunity to meet and interview this year, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me, and allowing me to share your story to the world. In your own unique way you are making a life long impact on each student with in the district.  A special thanks to SVVS Communications Director Matt Wiggins for making initial contact with our Educator Highlights and help in the editing process. Thank you Dr. Don Haddad for identifying the individuals who are truly inspiring in every sense of the word.

Starting later this month we will begin our 2018-2019 Stapp Inspires Educator Highlight Series. We hope you will keep checking back as we travel around the district learning about the exceptional people with in SVVS. We also created a page with our past highlights as well.  Thanks for taking this journey with us, we are excited to see who we meet next! 

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