Meet Dana McBride, WSSD’s new Safety and Security Director

Experienced safety professional hopes to enhance training, consistency, and community.

Ms.+Dana+McBride%2C+Director+of+Safety+%26+Security

Sasha Binder '24

Ms. Dana McBride, Director of Safety & Security

Sasha Binder '24, Reporter

In a superintendent update from June 17, 2022, Dr. Marseille announced new positions to help fill gaps within the school’s safety protocols. 

These newly funded positions, School Safety and Security Coordinator and a number of part-time and full-time security aides, work to maintain a healthy school climate and culture, according to the superintendent’s report at the June 27 school board meeting.  

Ms. Dana McBride was welcomed as the School Safety Coordinator at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. According to her introduction letter on the district website, she comes to WSSD with twenty years of experience in local law enforcement, emergency management, and K-12 school safety & security. 

McBride’s role is district-wide, although her office is in the high school on the third floor. Her job is to oversee everything related to safety for students and teachers in the district, and also supervise the work of our district’s seven new safety aides.

According to McBride, the safety aides—two at SHHS, two at SHMS, and one at each elementary school—are here to make sure that we have everything as far as policies, plans, and procedures all in relation to safety. 

Currently, neither of the safety aide positions at the high school are filled. The other members of McBride’s team are Ms. Moseley and Mr. Carfagno at SHMS, Mr. Lechette at WES, Mr. Cunningham at SRS, and Mr. Naegle at NPE. 

Coming in with a fresh set of eyes to a new place is always good, because you can see things from a different perspective and see things that somebody may have overlooked.”

— Ms. Dana McBride

McBride clarified that the seven aides are not guards or officers, but rather are there to provide a daily presence of safety in the building. They have also been trained in state requirements for security training.

“They are here to, one, make sure everybody is safe; two, to provide guidance and mentoring to students as needed, to build relationships and blend in with the culture of the school,” she said. “To bring an understanding of security as opposed to being ‘that security guard.’”

“Safety and security have always been my passion, ever since I could remember,” McBride said.

McBride has previously worked in the Southeast Delco School District, and also as a part-time police officer for Sharon Hill Borough PD—the first female officer in the department. 

“I was also called to mentor other female police officers as they came in to join departments that I worked with,” she said. 

After some time she changed her position at Southeast Delco from police officer to truancy officer. 

“Truancy wasn’t something I ever pictured, but I kind of fell in love with the educational side of it, which is how I ended up here,” she said. 

When the opportunity opened up to work in WSSD, McBride said she knew how big an opportunity it was for her, so she took it. 

McBride’s goals moving forward are to streamline safety procedures in the district. She shared that making the community more aware of different safety measures and bringing in more training are also goals. 

At the beginning of each day, McBride travels to all of the district buildings to check-in. Once back at her office at Haven, she said she tries to make herself visible throughout the school. She believes that being a familiar face in the building is vital so that she can become familiar with the school’s flow and community. 

In addition to familiarizing herself to the environment, McBride makes sure everything is going according to schedule and to ensure that everything is okay among students and staff. 

“Coming in with a fresh set of eyes to a new place is always good, because you can see things from a different perspective and see things that somebody may have overlooked,” she said. 

McBride expressed an interest in strengthening the overall awareness of how to keep the school safe, and make sure everyone feels secure. She said that she is not here to frighten anyone with the concepts of safety and security, but more to make students feel comfortable speaking up about their safety-related concerns. She used the term “see something, say something,” to describe this idea. 

In terms of student behavior, McBride said she has not noticed many common issues besides students leaving class too early or wandering around when they should be in a class. She described her interactions with students friendly as cordial so far. She seemed pleased with the behavior of the student body, and also commented on how well everyone handled the lockdown on Thursday, Dec. 8. 

Since she is in what she described as her introductory phase, McBride is very interested in meeting more students from the district, especially at the high school since her office resides there.

She is also open to the possibility of self-defense classes for students and teachers in the future.

“As a woman, I’ve definitely thought about it over the years,” she said. “If enough people showed interest, then yes I would look into bringing self-defense into the school.” 

McBride wants the community to know that her door is always open to students and staff—at least figuratively. 

“I can’t leave it open, because it blocks the hallway,” she said. “But my door is always open.”

She wants students to know she is here to bring positive aspects to the school community.  

“You know, where it’s not just bad, or an annoyance, or [sigh] another fire drill… to make sure people understand the importance of it all,” she said.

McBride welcomes comments, suggestions, and complaints if any student has them. Her email is [email protected] and she is based out of room 352, near the nurse’s office.

“I’m really excited to be here and to have this opportunity,” she said.