DENTON — Caroline County Public Schools named Michael “Rico” Gestole the school system’s new school security and safety coordinator..
Gestole, a 20-year veteran of the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office and the assigned school resource officer at the Colonel Richardson middle and high schools campus since 2008, will be responsible for building safety in conjunction with law enforcement throughout the county schools and administrative buildings.
He will work with building administrators to develop, refine and implement appropriate emergency procedures, plans and regulations to ensure safe schools and facilities and enhance school emergency procedures.
Gestole will also conduct staff training programs and develop other recommendations to ensure a safe environment in the schools.
“Mr. Gestole’s years of experience in the military, law enforcement and as a successful CCPS school resource officer make him the right person for the job,” said Milton Nagel, CCPS assistant superintendent for administrative services. “In the past decade, we’ve made great advances in incorporating safety into the fabric of our school system through evaluation, structural improvements, education and training, and Ricco has played an important role in that. Now we look forward to his leadership in building on that foundation.”
Gestole retired in June from the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office. He also served two years as a Ridgely police officer and five years in the U.S. Army as a military police officer.
In 2018, the Maryland Center for School Safety named then-Cpl. Gestole the School Resource Officer of the Year. He was also awarded Deputy of the Year in 2009 by the Maryland Sheriff’s Association.
“Rico is the epitome of what a school resource officer should be and sets the bar high for those that follow,” Caroline County Sheriff Randy Bounds said. “One only has to wander the halls of the Colonel campus at his side to witness the love and respect the students, staff and administration have for him.
“You can’t have a bad day around Rico,” he said. “He is always smiling, joking and keeping folks from taking themselves too seriously. Yet you will never find anyone who is more compassionate toward others when they are facing personal challenge or loss.”
Bounds said what impresses him the most about Gestole is the personal connection he has with every student, parent, teacher and administrator.
“We are very much looking forward to working with Rico in his new role,” Bounds said. “He will no doubt continue to foster the great working relationship between the school system and law enforcement throughout Caroline County. Though he will surely be missed on the Colonel Campus, our entire county will benefit greatly from his experience and expertise as he steps forward in this new role.”