District honors first Officer of the Year

The inaugural Columbia County School District Police Officer of the Year recognition was awarded Monday, April 24, 2023, to School Resource Officer Dennis Barton, from Stevens Creek Elementary.

The award was created to recognize excellence among our dedicated School Resource Officers district-wide for their dedication to keeping students and staff safe.

The award is based upon the recommendation of the school principal and staff. In addition, examples are provided detailing how the officer has enriched school safety and security, enhanced positive relationships with students and staff, and demonstrated a positive image of the district.

Officer Barton was surprised on Monday, April 24, 2023, with the recognition via a student rally in the cafeteria, before being recognized by the Board of Education the following day.

“I just love coming to work and doing my job,” Officer Barton said after receiving the award. “I can’t believe I would be recognized out of 40 officers. I just try to make it fun for the kids.”

Officer Barton began in law enforcement in 1995, and has served Stevens Creek Elementary since his employment with the district began in 2018. 

Stevens Creek Elementary Principal Grace Meyer called Officer Barton a leader and a role model for her school, the district and the community.

“He is kind and thoughtful to everyone in the building.  However, his positivity extends to our community and across the district,” Meyer said in Barton’s nomination. “Other principals have made a point to tell me they appreciate his diligence and example he sets when he works specials for them for sporting events. Parents come to me with examples of how he has ensured them that their child is safe and protected here at school.”

Other comments by school staff and parents include:

  • “Officer Barton's presence communicates confidence, security, and respect for others. He is well liked and respected by the faculty and staff, students and the families of STCE!”
  • “Officer Barton has been a positive influence in my adjustment,” said one first year teacher at Stevens Creek Elementary. “He is great to work with and extends his positive relationship beyond students and staff, to their parents and our community.”

Congratulations to Officer Barton, Columbia County School District Police Officer of the Year.



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The Columbia County School District named the inaugural School Resource Officer of the Year, Officer Dennis Barton. Officer Barton is the school resource office (SRO) for Stevens Creek Elementary School and was chosen by the school district administration. Principals sent letters of recommendation detailing safety programs and student engagement that officers were involved in for their schools. Out of 40 officers, Officer Barton was picked as number one.
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