Marysville-Pilchuck High School security officer Mike Rainwater has been through more than two decades of ‘first days’ at the school, but this year’s first day back was a surprise when it was announced he has been named the Washington State Security Officer of the Year.
Rainwater didn’t know that he had won the award until school officials announced the award at an assembly.
“They introduced me to the freshmen on the first day during the assembly, which I was expecting, so they would know who I was on campus,” Rainwater said.
“I was quite dumbfounded, shocked and humbled when they announced the award. There’s so many school security officers in the state, so to be chosen out of the myriad of other people is unbelievable for me,” he said.
Former School Resource Officer Chris Sutherland, who is returning to his role as patrol officer this year, nominated Rainwater for the award.
“Even from day one you could see that everyone gets along with Mike. You know he knows his job and gets along with the kids and staff,” he said.
Sutherland said that Rainwater has a great relationship with the students.
“They all respect him a lot, I know I did,” he said.
He put in the nomination this year to recognize Rainwater.
“I always felt he never got recognized for what he does around here, especially for as long as he has been here,” he said.
M-PHS principal Christine Bromley said that Rainwater is always there to support staff and students.
“Mr. Rainwater has a can-do attitude. He’s always willing to help. Even though he’s one person and he patrols a campus with 23 buildings and 1,200 students he somehow, like Superman, is available whenever you need him,” she said.
Rainwater has been with M-PHS for more than 26 years and was the first security officer that the district hired.
“They referred to me as a parking lot attendant at the time because they didn’t know if they wanted security officers back then,” he said.
Education and schools change each year, but Rainwater said he has enjoyed watching the district change.
Before Marysville Getchell High School, M-PHS had almost double the student population.
“Every little cubby hole had a classroom in it and it was quite a scene to see all the herds of people moving from classroom to classroom,” he said.
“That to me was the biggest change,” when the new high school split the population, he said.
Each summer he looks forward to coming back to school.
“Every fall there’s a new batch of freshman,” said Rainwater.
“I look forward to coming back each August to learn the different terminology the young people are using and see the different clothes they are wearing,” he said.
Rainwater said he enjoys the community, the students and the staff at the school.
“It seems like both the students and the staff are able to make things go smoother in my life when I have a little bump in the road,” he said.
“All the youthful energy and enthusiasm rubs off on me.”
He appreciates the students and the community they create as well, he said.
“Everybody seems to pull together, even the young people,” he said.
“Day after day I’ll be cruising the campus on my bicycle and I’ll see the things they do for each other that just make me chuckle and enjoy being alive.”