Comal ISD Hires Director of Safety & Security
As students and parents prepare for back to school, the Comal Independent School District welcomes its first Director of Safety and Security, Joe McKenna, Ph.D. McKenna is leaving his post as the associate director of research and education at Texas State University’s Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to take on this new role for the district.
McKenna brings more than six years of experience with the TxSSC, which serves as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of safety and security information through research, training and technical assistance for K-12 schools and junior colleges throughout the state.
In his role with TxSSC, McKenna has been on the forefront of research when it comes to emergency preparedness for school safety in the state of Texas. He has developed the policy, written the guidelines, and provided the resources to the state legislature needed for school districts to implement mandates and best practices for student safety and health.
In fact, McKenna has written more than 70 articles, abstracts, reports and papers addressing school safety and student health, examining areas such as juvenile crime and bullying, and most recently, the social and environmental factors in adolescent e-cigarette use.
“Joe is certainly qualified,” said Superintendent Andrew Kim. “He has advised the governor, Texas Senate, and Commissioner Morath on issues of school safety. I am confident that his experience with the Texas School Safety Center will benefit our students, staff and community.”
Besides his work with TxSSC, McKenna has been teaching at Texas State University in the school of criminal justice and is a member of various professional organizations. He was named the Outstanding Doctoral Student and Doctoral Teacher for the department of criminal justice at Texas State in 2016.
McKenna received both his master’s and doctoral degrees in criminal justice from Texas State University, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.
McKenna and his wife have one son who is two and a half years old. Comal ISD is looking forward to welcoming the McKenna family to the district on August 28.