New position will complement School Resource Officer

WAYLAND — Wayland-Cohocton has announced the appointment of John Walther as school safety officer.


Mr. Walther is currently a bus driver with Wayland-Cohocton and was recently awarded the Golden Eagle award for his conscientious and kind work with the district’s children. On Dec. 23, Mr. Walther will become a familiar face in Wayland-Cohocton’s buildings as well.


“The school safety officer position is designed to function in an educational setting and meet the ongoing changing needs of school programs,” said Superintendent Eileen Feinman. “Mr. Walther’s previous professional experiences makes him an incredible candidate. His time with the district as a school bus driver has shown administration his abilities in working with children and staff. His core beliefs, we feel, are an outstanding match for the goals Wayland-Cohocton is striving toward.”


Mr. Walther will be an employee of the school district, which is a different model than the contracted School Resource Officer (SRO), currently provided through a partnership with the Steuben County Sheriff’s office. Mr. Walther will work in cooperation with the current SRO and school administration to build a bridge between families, students, staff, law enforcement, and human service agencies. He will also attend district trainings relative to rules, regulations, policies, first aid, conflict resolution and restorative practices.


Mr. Walther will coordinate with the SRO to develop a comprehensive program of preventative education and protection. He will report to the administration and the SRO any emergency situation that may require police assistance. As expected, Mr. Walther will help maintain order in common areas like hallways and cafeteria and he will refer violations of policies to principals when necessary.


As a member of the Eagles Team, Mr. Walther will work with staff and students to build skills in social awareness, relationship skills, self-management, self-awareness and responsible decision making. He will provide and/or support lessons surrounding safety, community resources, law, drugs, alcohol, vaping and tobacco.


He will confer with students, parents, teachers and adults in the community concerning developments within and outside the school which may affect the safety and security of students. He will attend monthly staff meetings for the solution of security problems and the development of good work habits. Mr. Walther will also assist teachers and staff with the de-escalation of students in crisis situations. Mr. Walther will accompany district staff on home visits for welfare checks, truancy concerns, to deliver hearing notifications or other related needs, when needed.


“We do not want the community to feel that the creation of this position is cause for alarm,” said Feinman. “We are continually evaluating and remapping our staffing positions to make sure we are meeting the needs of our district. No single event or new information has prompted this decision. Instead, we feel that it is a proactive approach needed to address growing gaps in the services we provide to our students, families and the community at large.”


If you have any questions regarding this position, or anything in general, do not hesitate to contact the superintendent at (585) 213-4303.