For Chad Wilhelm, Duncanville ISD’s new Director of Safety and Security, taking a job at Duncanville ISD means coming home. Wilhelm’s parents lived in Duncanville when he was born and he purchased his first home in the city 20 years ago. After several moves, Wilhelm is excited to work in a place where he feels connected.
“I’ve always had a love for Duncanville and the community,” Wilhelm said. “It’s very different from the surrounding communities in that Duncanville has a lot of pride for the city.”
Wilhelm joins the district with a wealth of knowledge about school security. Before coming to Duncanville ISD, Wilhelm created police departments at both Marshall and Kerens school districts, where he oversaw police and security officers. Before joining the education world, Wilhelm worked for the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office as a lieutenant and created the department’s police academy.
Raised by a single father, Wilhelm joined the United States Marine Corps after he graduated high school. Wilhelm said his eight years of service helped him grow up and gave him a sense of comradery and teamwork, which Wilhelm believes is the cornerstone of building a great department.
“Teamwork is a big aspect. At the end of the day, what we do inside the educational environment is all about relationships with students, staff and the community,” he said.
As the new Director of Safety and Security, Wilhelm is overseeing security improvements paid for by the 2014 bond package. New surveillance cameras and door hardware are being installed at Duncanville High School this summer. Workers are adding additional cameras to strategic areas of the school. By the time students return in August, more than 500 additional cameras will be in place.
“This is a very strategic resource that we are adding to the high school, not only from the monitoring standpoint, but also for the overall security in the high school,” Wilhelm said.
Wilhelm said he plans to spend most of his first year at Duncanville ISD “looking, listening and learning” and then he will begin to evaluate the needs within the district.
“The core of everything we do is education,” Wilhelm said. “We will look at some educational programs that we can implement to help students be safe not only on campus but off campus as well.”
Wilhelm plans to be very visible at the high school and throughout the district. Wilhelm has already met with Tia Simmons, Duncanville High School’s new principal on several occasions. He is excited about being a part of the team at Duncanville ISD.