Clear Creek ISD School Safety Network

Clear Creek ISD School Safety Network
Posted on 08/14/2019
Safety NetworkThe Clear Creek Independent School District is pleased to announce the formation of the School Safety Network and its leaders. Brian Palazzi (left) was named Director of Safe Schools and Dava West (right) as Director of Student Guidance and Counseling. Palazzi and West have extensive experience in ensuring schools are physically safe and emotionally secure. Palazzi and West will join the District’s top law enforcement officer, Captain Josette Rivas (center) of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Department, to lead CCISD’s comprehensive safety program. This team is structured after the evidence-based and recommended model of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In the wake of the high school shootings in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas, CCISD established a community-driven committee to develop safety recommendations. The 39-recommendations, now in implementation, focus on the mental wellness of students, the physical hardening of facilities, emergency training and crisis response, and an enhanced law enforcement presence.

“Through recent events, close to home and nationally, we recognize school safety is not just about responding to a crisis, it is about preventing the next one,” said Greg Smith, Superintendent of Schools. “In CCISD, we are taking a holistic approach and creating a network of the best experts in their respective fields to address the complex nature of school safety today.”

Palazzi is a longtime Clear Creek ISD high school administrator who has led Clear Brook High School’s emergency and operations efforts for four years. In his new role, Palazzi will provide the strategic direction of CCISD’s safety efforts from identifying and addressing school-based threats to working with area emergency managers, campus principals and teachers on emergency plans, drills and training. His hands-on, campus-based experience will be instrumental in the school safety division. “Maintaining a safe learning environment for students has long been my top priority. I am honored to join the district team so that I can positively impact more students,” said Palazzi.

Dava West was promoted to the Director of Guidance and Counseling from the coordinator position. West, who was also a lead counselor at two CCISD high schools, has developed systems to improve CCISD’s counseling program, specifically in the area of the social and emotional health of children. West led the counseling arm of the CCISD’s student/parent reunification plan and implemented a standard mental health check system for all secondary schools. “CCISD counselors utilize a comprehensive school counseling program, including academic, social/emotional, and mental health supports, to ensure we are caring for the whole child,” said West. She has a Master of Science in Counseling, certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid and Psychological First Aid Training.

Captain Rivas provides leadership and supervision of the 39 Galveston County Sheriff officers within CCISD schools. Captain Rivas and her officers provide the law enforcement and criminal investigative arm of the district’s school safety program. Rivas began with CCISD in 1997, left for a while to serve other roles in the Galveston County Sheriff’s department, and returned in 2015.

“Ms. West, Mr. Palazzi and Captain Rivas are exceptional and proven leaders in Clear Creek ISD. They embody CCISD Core Values in all that they do,” said Smith. “I cannot think of a more qualified and compassionate team to lead CCISD’s safety initiatives.”

CCISD’s Safety Network team will be visiting campuses and community organizations in the fall of 2019 to update the public on the District’s school safety initiatives. The District will also provide parents, students and staff timely and responsive communication on critical safety matters facing the community today.
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