Wright County Safe Schools
Networking Initiative That Works…
A Cup of Coffee:
Twenty years ago, Director of Court Services Mike MacMillan had a cup of coffee with then Buffalo High School Principal, Nick Miller. They discussed the school and county government disconnect, not knowing who each other’s staff were, despite working with the same youth. They decided to invite then County Sheriff Don Hozempa and County Attorney, Wyman Nelson to the table. From this conversation, developed one of the most unique networking initiatives in the state.
“Safe Schools” was the name given to this concept. That is, bringing key decision makers from various disciplines (school and county government) together, in an effort to enhance the safety and well-being of our youth in Wright County. From Court Services perspective, the “school” is the community for youth as they spend a significant amount of their day in their respective school communities. Selfishly, Director MacMillan knew that having more “eyes and ears” in the school community would only enhance the supervision provided by his Probation Officers. In addition, schools recognized the variety of resources available through the county. By building relationships between professionals, sharing information and resources, and knowing who to contact during a crisis, has been a remarkable outcome.