John McDonald is a speaker working with Kirkland Productions through Safe & Sound Schools.
John McDonald is the Executive Director of Security and Emergency Management for Jeffco Public Schools, and recognized internationally as the architect of the post Columbine High School tragedy security and emergency management plan. Jeffco schools is a district of 86,000 students and 14, 000 employees at the foot of the Rockies in Colorado.
John has been recognized by the US Department of Education as a subject matter expert on active shooter preparedness and emergency plan development. During his time with Jeffco Schools, John has managed or responded to several tragedies and crisis events impacting schools including the 2010 Deer Creek Middle School shooting for which he was recognized as the Security Director of the Year for his leadership and actions during this crisis, the 2012 kidnapping and murder of Jessica Ridgeway, the 2013 Arapahoe High School shooting and a shooting at Sheridan High School in 2015. Following the Sandy Hook tragedy, John was invited to the White House to speak about developing the model active shooter preparedness, response and recovery program in K-12 schools.
John has earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology and taught criminal investigations and interview and interrogation as an adjunct instructor in Criminal Justice studies. John began his career in the military prior to working as a Police Officer in Colorado and then transitioned to the private sector as the Sr. Manager of US security and investigations with a Fortune 100 world-wide corporation.
In 2011, John founded ERCM Consultants, LLC, and provides threat management, emergency response and physical security assessment consultation services for educational institutions and law enforcement agencies. John is often requested by the media and is a nationally recognized presenter. In 2015, John was recognized by CBS News as a Community Game Changer for his work on the front lines, protecting kids.
Stop justifying and believe the threat
(Keynote, 45 min - 1.5 hour depending on requests) Learn how the school district of Columbine High School has learned through tragedy and resiliency to manage both internal and external threats in the 21st century. As education has had to adapt to the millennial learners so too have the principles and strategies surrounding threat management changed to reflect a growing trend of violence impacting our schools by today’s student.
No higher calling
(Keynote, 45 min - 1.5 hour depending on requests) Law enforcement and educators alike share a common bond and belief that protecting our most precious resource–our children– is the greatest of responsibilities. Breaking down silos and a willingness to have difficult conversations today is the difference in success or failure of tomorrow's crisis. This presentation shares proven and successful strategies that will create a climate and culture of safety and quality education.
“The world isn’t a scary place..but it is uncertain”
(Keynote, 45 min - 1.5 hour depending on requests) Nationally recognized school safety leader John McDonald is known for developing the post Columbine security program recognized by the White House following the Sandy Hook tragedy as a model school safety program. His work on the front lines of school safety has included managing ongoing threats to Columbine HS, leading the District through the 2nd Deer Creek Middle School shooting, the kidnapping and homicide of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway while walking to school and the tragic suicide of a student who set himself on fire at school in front of more than 200 classmates.
John’s presentation will discuss the challenges of being a responder and the impact of loss, trauma and the challenges of responsibility when even the responders assumptions are shattered.
Your presentation was fantastic and was very valuable in conveying to our new teachers that we value safety and security in this school district and they appreciated it. Your credibility and passion helped to make your presentation extra special. One teacher walked out, saying aloud to all who would listen, “I love this school district! I’ve worked in a lot of different places and I’ve never been anywhere like Scottsbluff. I just have to keep pinching myself to believe it!” You can’t do better than that.
Rick Myles, Superintendent, Scottsbluff Schools, Scottsbluff, Nebraska