Tribute to a Colleague

Officer Wes Libner, a resource officer with the Fargo Public Schools stationed at South High, pays tribute to one of his South High colleagues, for their dedication and service to the students and staff of the school.

Tribute to a Colleague Who Makes A Difference
by Officer Wes Libner, South High School SRO
Wes.Libner@fargo.k12.nd.us

As a School Resource Officer (SRO) for the Fargo Public School District, I would like to address how one certain individual at Fargo South High School has a huge, positive impact on the safety and overall daily operation of South High.

There are all kinds of references for them: the “go to” guy, utility man, the backbone of the organization, or your “old reliable.” I’m referring to those people in an organization that you can always count on. They are the ones who are there, day-in and day-out, doing the job that often times may be the least desirable. Yet, they are the ones doing the job that the organization relies on to function as efficiently as possible. These are the people that when they are gone, their absence is felt and you are just hoping to get through the days ahead until they return. They are usually a wealth of information because they are out there every day, talking and dealing with the customers or the ones you are serving, in this case, the students.

In my second year as SRO at South High School, I have come to learn the school is filled with exceptionally talented individuals, both on staff and in the student body. There are a number of people that deserve praise. One particular individual, however, in my opinion is crucial to the effective and efficient operation of the school itself on any given day. This individual just seems to have all the good qualities. This person does a job that is tough to measure in terms of success and impact, other than when they are not doing what it is they do so well, you feel their absence.

As a police officer, I look at this person as my backup, as the person I want by my side in a tough or challenging situation at South High School. For me as a person, this individual has always treated me with respect, and gone out of their way to help me in any way possible. In the two years I have been at South, not one holiday has passed where this individual failed to extend me an invitation to join their family in celebration. I have seen firsthand this person go beyond the call of duty to help students. I have seen this individual, on several occasions, spend their own money to provide things for students who may otherwise not have a chance to participate. This may range from an ice cream sundae in the lunch room for a charitable cause, all the way up to providing a letterman’s jacket. It’s a name I hear called more times over the school radio in any given week than any other name in the school.

We have had serious situations and medical emergencies unfold during my time at South High. I have been extremely thankful to have this individual by my side in those situations. Their presence has given me confidence and assurance that we were doing our very best to resolve the situation at hand. This person has served as a trusted partner.

Officer Libner stands with Rob WilsonSo, as a police officer, and as a friend, I would like to say thank you to Rob Wilson, Fargo South High School proctor, retired Fargo Fire Department captain, friend, and role model to so many. I know if I had told Rob I was going to write this article or ask his permission, he would have said no. But, some stories just need to be told. In this case, I thought it better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. Like most firefighters and police officers, Rob and I occasionally banter back and forth out of fun about who is better: cops or firemen? But the truth is, I am thankful to have Rob’s knowledge, experience, positive mental attitude and work ethic at Fargo South every day, and I bet I am not alone.

If you are ever at South High, and some short (sorry, Rob, I couldn’t resist), friendly guy comes up to you and asks if he can help, don’t forget to tell him “Thanks!” for the great job he does at the school, for taking great care of the kids, and for making South High a better and safer school.

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