Faculty both new and old commit to duty
October 11, 2019
From our newest hires to long time teachers, Northwest staff has a long commitment to service.
Here is the story of the new SRO as well as one of Northwest’s teacher veterans.
Teacher, coach retires from the military after more than 37 years of service
World history teacher and Lieutenant Colonel Paul Egleston retired from the US military after 37.5 years of service on July 1, 2019.
Throughout Egleston’s term of service, he has been a member of the US Army, National Guard and Army Reserve. These many years of service were not met without hardship, though.
“I was in Iraq for a year and hit by an IED (improvised explosive device) twice,” Egelston said.
Egelston started his military career looking for a way to pay for college after his first semester and thus joined the US Army as a private. Since then, Egelston has earned a Bachelors in Education from UNCG and later a Master’s in Education from Gardner Webb. Over Egelston’s many years of service, he became the highest ranking member out of his family, many of whom have served in the Civil War, World War II and Vietnam.
“I enjoyed the Army immensely,” Egelston said “(My favorite part) was to have proudly served my country.”
Egelston has four more years until he can be considered fully retired; at this time, he is on a callback list. Due to this Egelston, is now part of the US Army Retired Reserve. Throughout it all, he says he has enjoyed the journey.
“I’ve been stationed from California to Iraq, places such as Germany and Savannah, Georgia,” Egelston said. “But my family is my greatest influence.”
New SRO Joins Northwest
Former school resource officer Matt Parsons has left Northwest, and now a new SRO, Deputy Sheriff Kevin Cullison, has joined the staff.
“(Having an SRO) is very important in this day and time,” Principal Ralph Kitley said.
However, turnover is likely in this role.
“(Parsons) did a good job, but in the 21 years I’ve been here, we’ve had about six to seven SROs,” Kitley said.
While Kitley and the rest of the administrative team are still getting to know Cullison, both sides seem to have transitioned well. Kitley stated every SRO has had his own strengths and stated that Cullison was placed at Northwest by the police department rather than hired by the school system.
Cullison has two degrees: basic law training from Davidson County Community College and business administration from Appalachian State.
He has been with the police department for more than 13 years and now is a senior deputy. During his tenure, he has served as both a patrol officer and a police officer for the city agency.
“I became an SRO for a change of pace from patrol,” Cullison said.
Kitley said that Cullison is very good at being visible and student-oriented. Cullison believes Northwest to be a good school at which to work, and that the primary issues so far have been with school discipline, vaping specifically.
“I hope we will never (need Cullison) to respond to a major emergency,” Kitley said.