As Director of Campus Security and Safety at Collegiate, Jason Stone is responsible for overseeing the safety of students and faculty on campus. You have probably passed Stone in the parking lot or between classes, but few have gotten to hear his story or why he truly loves what he does now at Collegiate.
Stone was born and raised in a small farm town in Connecticut, where he attended a small elementary school of about 200 students overall, and he had just 12 students in his eighth grade class. The small town did not have its own high school, and thus the county paid to send students to the closest independent school, Norwich Free Academy. With over 550 students in his freshman class alone, the transition to high school posed a major change in atmosphere.
Upon graduating from high school, he decided to join the Marine Corps. He began training at bootcamp in Parris Island, South Carolina and then enrolled in infantry school at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. After his training, he was finally stationed with the Third Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion as an infantry scout. The scouts worked in only four man teams, and because of the danger of their missions, everyone in the group was required to have medical training. This training ultimately became an important asset as Stone moved on in his career.
Stone’s exposure to combat training helped him realize his passion for protecting people in a proactive manner. He said, “I liked being on the healing side of it just as much as I liked being on the other end of it, so when I got out, I wanted to be a police officer.” His first job out of the Marine Corps was as a security officer at a casino. Though he did not necessarily enjoy this job, he hoped it would serve as a stepping stone to becoming a police officer. His medical training and experience, however, led him to become an EMT and paramedic. After his work as a healthcare professional, he met his wife and decided to relocate to Richmond, where he now works at Collegiate and lives with his wife and two sons, Charlie and Kaleb.
Stone, who’s been at Collegiate since 2010, when he was first hired as a security contractor, says his previous work at the casino helps him truly appreciate his current position as Director of Campus Security and Safety. He now oversees all aspects of campus security, including managing the Campus Security Team, coordinating schedules with Henrico police, traffic flow, safety drills, weather alerts, and several other responsibilities. What truly makes this job different from his prior experiences, though, are the atmosphere and the interaction with students, parents, and faculty. “Collegiate School is one of the most inviting and friendly places I have ever been to”, he said. “[The] biggest challenge is to make sure the security measures I implement at Collegiate change the atmosphere here as little as possible.”
Stone embraces this challenge of having both an authoritarian role as a security officer and a mentoring role for students on campus because of the gratifying impact he is able to have on the community. “In my office, you would see a giant dry erase board full of letters from Middle and Lower School students saying ‘thank you,’ and on that board I have kept every letter I’ve ever received since I first began working here. To me, when I walk in and see that, it makes me feel appreciated… and to me that’s why I am here.”