Security guard Ceba Vestergaard hopes to protect and connect with students

Dylan Drescher, Staff Writer

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Developing relationships of all kinds with the adults around the school can greatly improve and streamline the entire educational experience. Whether it is starting a conversation or forming an opinion of that person, a bit of background information always helps. Ceba Vestergaard is the newest addition to the school’s team of security guards and is currently the only female member. Along with her co-workers, her goal is to keep the school and students safe.
Vestergaard is very familiar with both the community and the high school. She grew up in town and graduated in the class of 1978. She also raised her four children here, all of whom also went through the Middletown school system. Three attended school at the previous building, and the youngest attended its modern counterpart. She has lived and worked in Middletown for most of her life, and considers it her home.
Before coming to the high school, Vestergaard worked as a Crossing Guard Enforcing Officer. A division of the police, she could often be seen patrolling Main Street during the day. Vestergaard was tasked with keeping the students and other pedestrians safe as they went about their normal business; in order to accomplish this, she had to be constantly vigilant. She said, “[My main job] was looking for suspicious activity.” Anything that seemed out of place was swiftly reported by means of a live police radio she kept on her person at all times.
As for her new occupation, Vestergaard said, “I kind of fell into it.” A big factor in acquiring the position was the experience she had gained from her previous job as Crossing Guard Enforcement Officer. One of the many requirements of a security officer, according to the City of Middletown, is to be able to “relate to and interact with a non-traditional and diverse student and employee population.” Judging by that statement, Vestergaard was a perfect fit for the environment at the school. The ability to connect and understand students came quite naturally.
“[My job as a security guard] can be challenging,” Vestergaard said. However, she believes that there is a lot of good as well.
Often she tries to find pleasure in the simple things. “The best part,” she said, “is when students say good morning to me in the hallway.” To her, such a seemingly insignificant gesture is evidence of something much more. “It is then that I know there are actual student-adults in the building” says Vestergaard.
Her chosen career is certainly unique for her gender. In the entire United States, only 22 percent of security guards are female. Vestergaard notices a difference being a female security guard. “It’s harder, it demands more,” she said. “I find I need a different rapport to get respect and cooperation.”
Despite her general enthusiasm with the school environment, Vestergaard can still grow frustrated with members of the student population. “Why is it so hard to take off your hoodie and take out your earbuds?” she joked. “I just don’t get it!”

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