Hawaii police officer named National School Resource Officer of the Year


Organization honors two other school resource officers for valor

June 25, 2017 – RENO, Nev. – The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) today presented its Floyd Ledbetter National School Resource Officer of the Year Award to Officer Marvin Tevaga, of the Maui Police Department, Wailuku, Hawaii. The annual award recognizes a school resource officer (SRO; a specially trained law enforcement officer assigned to work in a school) who has made specific and significant contributions to the officer’s local community and/or school district.

NASRO presented the award this morning, during the opening ceremonies of its annual School Safety Conference. At least 1,000 police officers, educators and others are receiving specialized training and information at the conference this week in Reno.

Tevaga serves as SRO at Maui’s King Kekaulike High School.

“Officer Tevaga has contributed vastly to his department, school and others during the eight years he has served as an SRO,” said Mo Canady, NASRO executive director. “Among his many noteworthy accomplishments, he helped save the life of a student who suffered cardiac arrest at school.”

In August, 2015 Tevaga initiated cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on a pulseless student. Four minutes later, the student resumed breathing on his own.

In addition to performing the normal duties of an SRO in an exemplary manner, nomination letters described actions Tevaga has taken that go beyond those expectations. Examples include:

  • Raising money for shoes for needy children in India and personally delivering the shoes during his vacation, at his own expense.
  • Serving as a volunteer referee for the Police Athletic League’s youth flag football program.
  • Leading school traffic-safety awareness and education programs, including campaigns to promote awareness of distracted driving dangers.
  • Helping to protect students from illegal drugs by executing several search warrants, all of which led to arrests of adults on charges related to selling drugs to juveniles.

Also this morning, NASRO bestowed its National Award of Valor upon two SROs in recognition of their specific acts of courage and valor:

  • Deputy Blaine Gaskill, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, Leonardtown, Maryland. On March 20, 2018, a 17-year-old male student fired one shot in a hallway of Great Mills High School, Great Mills, Maryland. The gunman then moved down a connecting hallway, where Gaskill confronted him and fired one shot, striking the gunman’s hand as the gunman simultaneously fatally shot himself.
  • Deputy Jimmy Long, Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Ocala, Florida. On April 20, 2018, a 19-year-old man allegedly carried a sawed-off shotgun into an Ocala high school, fired one shot through a classroom door, entered another classroom and began talking to a teacher. Long rushed into that classroom and quickly handcuffed the suspect.

NASRO will present additional honors — including its Chief Nicholas C. Derzis Safe Schools Leadership Award, Model Agency Award and Regional Exceptional Service Award – at an awards dinner Thursday.

Editors: A high-resolution portrait of SRO-of-the-year Tevaga is available for download.

About NASRO

NASRO is a nonprofit organization for school-based law enforcement officers, school administrators, and school security and safety professionals working as partners to protect students, school faculty and staff, and the schools they attend. NASRO is headquartered in Hoover, Alabama, and it was established in 1991. For more information, visit www.nasro.org.

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