Former Bothell deputy police chief Henry Simon is the new director of safety and security for the Northshore School District.
Simon will oversee emergency preparedness, the safety and security needs of the District and the allocation of voter-approved funds as they relate to safety and security.
He is already familiar with the District and has developed ties with staff through the Bothell Police Department where he worked for more than 22 years. Prior to Simon’s time with the Bothell PD, he worked with the Mountlake Terrace Police Department and as a school resource officer in the Edmonds School District.
Simon has also been involved with various youth programs, including the Boys and Girls Club as a basketball and baseball coach. He says this combined professional and community experience contributed to his decision to join Northshore.
“l look forward to carrying on the relationships that I’ve built over the last 30 years in law enforcement with the district and with the community to make our schools safer,” Simon said in a press release.
He added that he’s is aware of the heightened security concerns in schools around the nation, and believes maintaining a safe and welcoming learning environment is dependent upon community-building and communication.
“When you have a strong, supportive and inclusive community, it’s easier to recognize a student under stress or behaving in an unusual way,” said Simon in a press release.
“There also needs to be a paradigm shift with students, teachers, parents and everyone else to make sure that we use that same mindset that we have at airports: if you see something, say something,” he said in a press release. “We need to get people to work together to feel confident in sharing information with the proper authorities who can intervene prior to something happening.”
District Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid said the addition of Simon, along with expanded counseling and mental health services, will support the District’s ability to implement the Strategic Plan’s building block of maintaining a safe climate for all learners.
“Safety and security are among the District’s top priorities,” Reid said in a press release. “With Henry’s leadership, I am confident we will be able to maintain safe learning spaces for everyone who attends our schools.”
Dr. Chris Bigelow, who has been overseeing safety and security for the District, will now focus on his role as Director of Diversity and Equity.
Simon started in the position and was introduced at the School Board meeting on June 11.