School Board honors district business partners: Kissimmee, St. Cloud police departments

Recognizing that a supportive and involved community builds a strong public school system that is essential to the prosperity of our community, the Osceola County School Board and Superintendent Debra Pace have recognized two local law enforcement agencies as 2019 District Business Partners of the Year.

The awards recognize the valuable contributions being made by business and community partners throughout the Osceola School District and increase awareness of the importance of business and civic involvement in the school system.  

2019 District Business Partner of the Year: Kissimmee Police Department

According to an Osceola County School district press release, the Kissimmee Police Department was recognized for its tremendous support and contribution to serve numerous Osceola schools in the city of Kissimmee, thereby bolstering safety, mentorship, outreach and community involvement. On any given day, you can find the Kissimmee Police Department’s School Resource Officers actively engaged by creating relationships and educating students about the positive role of law enforcement and providing safe learning environments each and every day, the press release stated. Officers participated in the Celebrating Youth Success Award Program, recognizing 22 top students across the district; been involved with after-school program support, such as with the Homework Diner at Central Avenue Elementary; and helped students learn about bullying prevention during Red Ribbon Week at various schools.

Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell gives his time by serving as an advisory board member for the Law Enforcement Academy Program at Osceola Technical College, sponsors students to attend classes, as well as recruits and hires graduates from the Academy.  

During the holidays, the Kissimmee Police Department provided a new bicycle and helmet to 50 Kissimmee students in need from six schools.

2019 District Business Partner of the Year - St. Cloud Police Department

The St. Cloud Police Department’s School Resource Officer program showcases the strong relationships within schools with law enforcement as everyone works together to keep our school campuses safe. The department provides officers to guest speak as panel members and to teach students about character building, anti-smoking, bullying prevention, as well as animal and fire safety in St. Cloud schools.  

School resource officers also create an excellent climate of trust by mentoring students on campus to help keep an open dialogue and working with students one-on-one to help teach the importance of getting along with others and good citizenship.  The St. Cloud Police Department supports school safety patrol programs so that students can model safety and leadership with their peers.  

Over the holidays, the department chooses students from the schools to participate in the Shop with a Cop program, giving St. Cloud students in financial need an opportunity to engage in a positive interaction with an officer as they select gifts for each of their family members, as well as something special for themselves.

St. Cloud Police Chief Gauntlett donates his time to serve as the Advisory Board Chairman of Osceola Technical College’s Law Enforcement Academy Program, as well as sponsors students to attend classes and recruits and hires graduates on an annual basis.

The School Board also honored 51 school business partners of the year as part of their involvement with the district’s Partner in Education program.  

To view the list of outstanding business partners selected by each school as its 2019 school business partner of the year, visit https://www.osceolaschools.