I've often touted how a key role that the Educational Service Center plays is to provide services to our school partners.
One such partnership is with Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center.
Pickaway-Ross has a school resource officer who is contracted to the career center through the ESC.
Deputy Rex Cockrell joined Pickaway-Ross this year, but he's not new to the school. Cockrell, a Unioto graduate, completed Pickaway-Ross' carpentry program in 1993.
Cockrell worked for 20 years as a carpenter, first on job sites and then overseeing them. During that time he also has worked as a firefighter, EMT and a special deputy for the Ross County Sheriff's Department.
Now he's enjoying a second career as the school resource officer at Pickaway-Ross.
He entered the police academy in 2012, working full days in construction and attending the academy at Ohio University at night.
"The academy was mentally and physically challenging," Rex said. "It was very tough but I had it in my head I was going to make it."
He finished in June 2013 and in January 2014, he was commissioned as a special deputy by the Ross County sheriff.
Rex is happy to be back at Pickaway-Ross. And Dennis Franks said having him there is refreshing.
"I saw him outside the Carpentry lab one day and he was helping a student with a carpentry question. I loved that," Dennis said.
Rex said he hopes that more students will come to see him not just as a law enforcement officer but as someone they can talk to.
"I'm very easy-going and approachable," Rex said.