Students in the Lewis County C-1 school district started the semester off with a lot of changes.
A new 8-block schedule, a brand new bell system, and now they also have a new school resource officer.
In fact, it's the first ever for the district. And administrators say his presence is making a real impact on school safety.
School is back in session, and the halls of Highland High were packed with students once again Monday.
But this year there's one extra person roaming the halls with them, Lewis County Deputy Jerrod Eisenberg.
Eisenberg is the district's first ever school resource officer, making him responsible for anything from dealing with student truancies, to student discipline.
But more importantly he's the first line of defense in case of an emergency.
"It makes me feel good to be able to be at the school every day, and help assure the safety of these children, they are our future of our community. They mean a lot to me," said Eisenberg.
"People have made explosive devices out of vehicles. If you think about the Oklahoma city bombing that was in a vehicle," aid Eisenberg.
Every morning, Eisenberg thoroughly checks the schools parking lot, looking for anything out of the ordinary.
And to ensure safety inside, Eisenberg can not only watch over students from TV screens, but also from anywhere he goes.
"I can actually access from my cell phone or computer from anywhere in the nation. Anywhere where I can get cell phone service or Internet access, I can access those cameras," said Eisenberg. "What I've told the kids here at school, I'm not here to watch you, I'm here to watch out after you, make sure that you're safe so you go home to your mom and dad every night," said Eisenberg.
And that's exactly what students, say they're thankful for.
"I feel a whole lot safer around the hallways, I feel like nothing is going to happen," said Highland High School Sophomore, Fernando Murphy.
"I mean he's a big guy, so I mean anyone who comes in the door is going see him. It just makes us feel a whole lot safer," said Highland High School Senior Katelyn Boone.
Funding for the position is partly being paid for by a 0.25 increase to the county sales tax passed by Lewis County residents in April.
The Lewis County Sheriff's Office and the school district are also helping pay for the position.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WGEM. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Kathy Woodworth at 217-228-6617. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.