North East ISD on Sept. 12 announced the hiring of veteran U.S. Secret Service agent Paul Duran as the district’s first senior director of safety and security.

A news release said Duran spent more than 29 years with the Secret Service, working on protective and investigative missions. Duran is now tasked with focusing on physical security at all NEISD facilities,\ and measures designed to ensure on- and off-campus safety for district students and employees.

Duran said school safety and security, much like presidential protection, involves a system of interrelated elements that need to work together.

“Beyond the physical protection measures, a comprehensive approach encompasses response and recovery as well as prevention, mental health support, anti-bullying programs and school culture,” Duran said in a statement.

NEISD said Duran last worked as special agent in charge of the San Antonio Secret Service Field Office, overseeing all Secret Service operations in South and Southwest Texas.

His missions required threat management, including behavioral threat assessments and prevention of targeted violence, the release said, adding Duran spent several years as a member and team leader of the Secret Service’s Counter Assault Team, which provides tactical support of protectees and events.

Additionally, Duran was appointed to the Presidential Protection Division under the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. During that time, he worked as part of a team to design and implement security plans for domestic and foreign visits of the president, their families and other top officials, the release said.

NEISD officials said in his new position, Duran will provide the strategic direction and leadership for the administration and coordination of NEISD’s safety and security program.

Additionally, Duran will develop, establish and enforce safety and security policies and procedures. He will also conduct threat assessments and train staff on how to de-escalate situations.

Duran will work closely with the North East ISD Police Department and NEISD’s risk management office to bolster overall safety and security districtwide, the release said.

Duran said cooperation and collaboration were key toward successfully completing missions with the Secret Service, and that will be no different in working with NEISD.

The district said Duran is finishing his work with the Secret Service and will begin work with NEISD on Oct. 3.

“Keeping schools safe is advanced by team efforts and the combined resources of various stakeholders. My role is to help all of those stakeholders provide the safest environment possible to help the district achieve its goal of academic excellence and responsible citizenship. Our district is invested and proactive in providing safe schools for student learning,” Duran said.

District officials said a monthslong search resulted in finding Duran, determining him to be the best person to fill the position of senior director of safety and security.

Leaders at NEISD, like at many other Texas school systems, have been concentrating on shoring up safety and security following a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

“We appreciate his dedication to the Secret Service and look forward to what his high-level expertise will bring,” Superintendent Sean Maika said.