Familiar Face Returns to Waterford High as New Year Starts


New SRO Megan Sylvestre (left) poses alongside retiring SRO Steve Whitehead (right) inside the security office. September 12, 2019.

Anna Schleck

As the new school year starts, new faces can be seen around the halls. One of those faces is returning after a ten year absence. New school resource officer (SRO) Megan Sylvestre graduated from Waterford High School in 2009. She is taking the place of school favorite, officer Steve Whitehead, who retired from the school at the end of June and will retire from the Waterford Police Department in January. Whitehead has been acting as a field training officer for Sylvestre in the first week of school. His job has been to make sure she understands all the school’s security protocols and how to work the school’s security cameras. When asked what advice he would give to Sylvestre in her new job, Whitehead said, “She should remain open-minded. Get involved with school functions, get involved in classes like health and criminal justice, so students can get to know her and she can get to know them.” Whitehead says that Sylvestre will need to learn to be proactive; she won’t be waiting on calls anymore, she will have to work to develop relationships with students and staff. 


Sylvestre’s job will be to work alongside school administration and the Waterford Police Department to manage the school. She is also tasked with providing information on school guidelines to parents and helping students with any personal problems. 


Sylvestre wasn’t always headed for this career path: “Originally, I didn’t want to be a cop; I wanted to be a lawyer.”  After taking some researching classes, she realized that sitting at a desk every day was not something she wanted to do. Sylvestre said her love for the public and the ability to do something different every day drove her to the position she is in today. She has been a police officer for six years. Sylvestre had to apply and interview with the chief of police in order to become the new SRO. 


Outside of school, Sylvestre monitors the streets and tries to prevent speeding. She also runs a bike club at Great Neck Elementary and coaches softball for elementary students, she can most often be found in the security office next to the second floor office.