Why Teaching

K-12 Partner School Stories

We are pleased to feature the Districts, Schools and Administrators that make up our network of K-12 Partners in our collaborative efforts to grow and develop highly effective professional educators. 


Resource Officer Adds Support to Instructional Environment


Education in the 21st century is more than one teacher in a single classroom.  Today's K-12 students are innovative and creative and they are growing and learning in a very diverse environment.  Their instruction comes from a variety of sources who provide a broad perspective on living and succeeding in modern society.


Officer Mike Austin in his office at Davies High School.


Fargo Police Officer, Mike Austin, is a School Resource Officer (SRO) with Fargo Public Schools currently serving at Davies High School.  Although Mike is a full-time Fargo Police Officer, he spends the school year filling a major role within the instructional environment.  "My primary responsibility," says Officer Austin, "is to foster relationships within the building that support a safe and caring school climate."


Officer Austin is originally from Sioux Falls, South Dakota but graduated from high school in Gwinner, North Dakota.  He held various positions before entering the Army and serving in Germany, Kosovo, Desert Storm and three tours in Iraq.  He was living in Texas when he made the decision to move to North Dakota and attend NDSU.  After more than ten years with the Fargo Police Department, Mr. Austin applied for and was assigned the SRO possition at Davies High School where he began working in 2011.  The School Resource Officer serves as a liaison within the school building between social services, the Sheriff's Department, child protection services, school personnel, and parents.  "Communication skills are key as are flexibility, the ability to negotiate between multiple groups of individuals, and the capacity to create a trusting relationship between students, administration, and law enforcement," Mike shares.


Mike works with the teachers in his building to provide students with knowledge and skills they need beyond the classroom.  "There are many legal changes that occur when they turn 18," he offered.  "Other SRO's in the District and I partner to develop lessons that will provide students with safety training, how to use their intuition to stay aware of their surroundings, and related skills they will need to eventually live on their own." 


Tyler Scott (left), Fargo Public Schools Security Proctor with Mike Austin (right) checking in visitors at the entrance to Davies High School


Fargo Public Schools enacted a "Text a Tip" program as a confidential resource for students and staff facing challenges in their personal and professional experience.  Officer Austin is available at all times to assist with concerns about drugs, domestic violence, and related conflicts.  He is a valued resource for those who have come to trust him as a compassionate and caring friend.  "Whether in the school or on the street, we want our community to know that we are here to help."


Read more stories about our K-12 partner school leaders . . .












Background Image