Students, staff members recognize importance of school resource officer


Shaian Aghasoltan

Officer Dan chatting with a group of students

In some schools, the presence of a police officer in the hallways would raise alarm. But at the Regional, Officer Dan has become just another member of the school community. 

Daniel Contois or Officer Dan said he chose this job because of his own high school experience. 

“I had a really good relationship with my school resource officer,” said Officer Dan.

Contois served as a police officer in Leominster for seven years before joining the Holden Police Department.  

“There was a lack of opportunity beside patrol [in Leominster],” said Contois. “I love interacting with the students and building relationships [at Wachusett].”

Several Mountaineers said they appreciate Officer Dan’s presence at the Regional. 

 “I like seeing a school resource officer. It makes me feel safer,” said junior John Baczek. “I see him almost every day.”

Underclassmen agreed. 

“This is my first year in the school because I was remote last year. It [having a resource officer] made coming back to school easier knowing he will keep us safe,” said sophomore Matthew Vigeant. “He [Contois] always is willing to talk or help you with anything school-related or not.” 

Assistant principal Andrew Costa said he respects the work Contois does. 

“He has been able to talk to families and do home visits outside of school,” said Costa. “He has been a tremendous support to students and administrators.”

Contois has also assisted members of the guidance department.  

“He [Contois] is a great resource for serious situations, but can also provide information on a lot of topics,” said school counselor Kerri Knorring. 

According to students, Contois’ presence has made Wachusett feel a little bit smaller.

“The school is so big so having a staff member like Officer Dan who is really easy to talk to is great,” said freshman Caleb Kakalecz.