Arlington High School’s Mark McDougall is more than the school’s campus security officer; he’s a role model who tries to make connections with all of the school’s nearly 1,600 students. This was why he was nominated for the 2019 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year.
“Mark knows the names of nearly all of our students and goes above and beyond to form bonds with students, like volunteering to be a DJ for our holiday winter ball that was hosted for our Special Education Life Skills students,” said Arlington High School Principal, Duane Fish. “By knowing all of our students, he also keeps our students and staff safe by recognizing someone who shouldn’t be on campus.”
McDougall has formed these relationships by trying to understand where each student is coming from. He asked Principal Fish for a copy of a book about adverse childhood experiences so he could better understand what a student might be going through. Serving as a freshman football and wrestling coach has also helped him connect with students.
“I really try to interact with students and break down their barriers,” said McDougall. “As the campus security officer, I want to be consistent and treat the students all the same. Some of them are already dealing with enough so I don’t want to be part of the problem but part of the solution.”
McDougall found out recently that he wasn’t selected as the classified school employee of the year. He was honored and humbled to be nominated.
“The staff at Arlington High School has been invaluable to my growth,” said McDougall. “None of this would happen without a huge support system at this school.”