Photo & Article By Christina M. Hamilton,
Hampton Union, Tuesday, February 17, 2009 &
Atlantic News, Friday, February 20, 2009
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News and Hampton Union]
HAMPTON -- As Hampton Academy begins its second semester and is officially through the halfway point of the school year, a commendation is already overdue for Hampton Police Officer and Hampton Academy School Resource Officer, Alex Reno. Though he has been the school's resource officer for only five months, Reno has had a tremendous impact on the school community.
Upon coming to Hampton Academy, Reno immediately established himself with students as a positive role model and a respected police officer. He balances serving three grade levels with enthusiasm, energy and complete commitment to bettering the lives of staff and students at Hampton Academy. Reno goes above and beyond his call of duty every day he walks into the school.
Since coming to Hampton Academy, Reno has worked tirelessly on promoting safety in the school, updating and streamlining the school's evacuation and reverse evacuation plans and using his critical eye for detail to ensure the school provides the safest environment possible for all students.
In addition to serving as the school's Resource Officer, he also serves as the student council's co-advisor, coordinating such activities as student involvement in Exeter's Breast Cancer Walk last October and the school's Holiday Giving Tree. He also coordinates school-wide dances for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.
Reno is the school's DARE instructor and the president of Seacoast Project DARE. Through this program he educates Hampton's youth about the risks of drugs and alcohol and coordinates the annual sixth grade DARE graduation, a popular and well-attended event that is a highlight of students' middle school experience.
Well-educated and a gifted presenter, Officer Reno volunteers his time in the dassroom on a regular basis. He willingly and enthusiastically visited eighth grade students on several occasions this year to share his experiences as a police officer on 9/11 and give lessons on how the Constitution applies to the students' everyday lives.
Always up for an adventure, he was an enthusiastic participant in the sixth grade's annual Greek Day. He has also talked with students about bullying, harassment and Internet dangers so that they may make healthy choices and protect themselves. Reno has also coordinated guest speakers and presenters in the school.
A true patriot, Reno currently serves in the Air Force Reserves. He initiated and oversees student participation in the school's Flag Detail and gave an inspiring speech at the school's Veterans Day Assembly in November 2008, during which he told the story of protecting the family members of one of the pilots killed in the 9/11 attacks the night of those tragic events. Students were moved by his words and Reno enabled them to make personal and historical connections between global events and their own lives.
The students, families and staff at Hampton Academy cannot thank Officer Alex Reno enough for the positive impacts he has had, and continues to make, in the community. His hard work, enthusiasm and drive are an inspiration, and his unwavering commitment to his students creates, on a daily basis, positive impacts that the students will carry with them throughout their lives.