• School Security and Support


    Rene Essex Poses with her CSEY Award. Rene Essex
    School Security Officer
    Alliance Academy and Elmhurst Community Prep


    Rene Essex, School Security Officer (SSO) for Alliance Academy and Elmhurst Community Prep, summarizes her job as “the front line to keeping school safe for everyone.”


    In many ways, Rene knows the campus better than anybody, arriving each day at 8 a.m. and staying until at least 6 p.m. During the day she’s “here for the students like a parent.”


    “I make sure they’re happy and getting what they need,” Rene said. “If they need someone to talk to, they can come to me. If they just want a hug or a smile or shake hands, that’s what I’m here for.”


    Her passion for working with kids and pride in her work has made her an integral part of the two schools’ shared campus and why she was named a 201-17 OUSD Classified School Employee of the Year and Alameda County Classified School Employee of the Year.


    “I was shocked but I don’t really like surprises. I prefer to be low profile,” she said. 

    Rene Moore stands outside school with students. Rene has worked in the District for over 30 years, beginning in 1979 at elementary schools while still a student at Fremont High. After graduation, she began working for 16 years in Child Development Centers. Now, in her seventh year as an SSO on the middle and high school campus, Rene has enjoyed working with all students.


    “I love being a part of their lives and helping to mold them and be a part of their lives all the way to college”, she said.


    The highlight of Rene’s year is graduation, “especially that final push in the last month or two.” She speaks with amazement about “watching them grow with that transition and seeing them smile as they walk the stage. She added that students - who she also refers to as her “babies” - “actually thank me for helping to inspire them to do what they need to do to get their grades.”


    For Rene, the value of students first is primary and “the rest follows.”

    “We strive for excellence for our kids. You have to have integrity, otherwise you can’t expect it from your students. You have to be culturally responsive in order to understand them,” Rene explained. “The joy comes when kids and staff have smiles on their faces and they’re giving high-fives on their way to class, excited about learning. Equity for me is about putting my full self into it every single day. You have to put your heart into it, not just work for a paycheck. You can’t fake it, the kids can tell.”

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