Pine Island Elementary recognizes school resource officer Aubuchon
Lee County Sheriff Staff Officer Darryl Aubuchon has been assigned to Pine Island Elementary School since shortly after the deadliest high school shooting in American history in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14.
All last week, as part of National Police Week, students brought the officer “goodies” in “Cruiser Kits” and on Wednesday, May 16, Aubuchon was asked to report to the courtyard. When he arrived, more than 200 students, teachers and staff surprised him by lining up around the courtyard for what Principal Steve Hook called a, “High Five Hall of Fame.”
Aubuchon, known as “Deputy D” by the students, walked around the courtyard giving ‘high fives’ to the students. The deputy was also awarded two plaques.
“This is the second year in a row that 4th grade students collected items to make ‘Cruiser Kits’ to hand out to officers,” 4th grade teacher Monica Renz said. “These kits consist of things that will make a shift a little easier, such as notepads, snacks, mints, lint rollers and some even had a gift card to Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts.”
Aubuchon, a Michigan native, came to Southwest Florida more than 34 years ago to enter the real estate business with his brother. After a short time, Aubuchon joined the Air Force. Once discharged he returned to Southwest Florida to enter the building trades during the area’s building boom.
An almost accidental meeting with Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott brought Aubuchon a job offer. He has been with LCSO for 10 years.
“After the shooting in Parkland, Sheriff Scott made securing our schools his top priority,” Aubuchon said. “LCSO added 40 School Resource Officers to the 60 already at Lee County Schools and will be hiring additional officers. A Lee County School Safety Officer is stationed at Pine Island Elementary every day from the beginning of the school day until the end.”
“There are students at Pine Island Elementary that have parents that are members of other area police departments,” Renz said. “Those kids were also recognized for the sacrifices they make having a parent in law enforcement.
“Pine Island Elementary students spent time during the last couple of weeks preparing cards, posters, ‘Cruiser Kits’ and other special items to honor our local law enforcement,” Renz said. “National Police Week offers us an opportunity to help foster positive relationships with law enforcement.”
“Coming to Pine Island has been an extraordinary experience,” Aubuchon said. “Right from the very first day everyone has been so cooperative working out the details to make Pine Island Elementary as safe as we can possibly make it. Then all week long the kids have been dropping off these ‘Cruiser Kits’. I probably have 200 cards to read at home. Coming to Pine Island has been such an extraordinary and rewarding experience.”
“Deputy Aubuchon has been a welcome addition to the Pine Island Elementary staff,” Principal Steve Hook said. “His presence has had a positive impact on our school and we wanted to show our appreciation for his work. We want our island students to know and respect our police officers, firefighters and servicemen and women. The ‘High Five Hall of Fame’ gave every student a chance to say thank you. Mrs. Renz and our staff go above and beyond to show appreciation.”