CSSOs Contribute to Secure Schools

Har-Ber High School graduate Ben McKown serves Westwood Elementary School as a Commissioned School Security Officer.

McKown hopes to bring a spirit of safety to the school, as well as serve as a mentor and friend to students.

"I want to protect and help these children feel safe and give their parents peace of mind, knowing I will do everything I can to be there for their children," McKown said.

McKown, 25, attended George and Hunt elementary schools, Hellstern Middle School, Central Junior High School and Har-Ber High School. He graduated from Har-Ber in 2016.

"I played varsity tennis in high school," McKown said.

He lives in Bentonville with his wife, Sarah Grace McKown, but calls Springdale home.

The couple were married in May of 2022 and have two dogs, Koda and Kenai.

McKown said he loves spending time in the outdoors.

"I’m an avid mountain biker and outdoorsman," he said, adding he worked with Rogue Trails to build world-class mountain bike trails prior to working for Springdale Schools.

McKown has experience working with students from many cultures and previously served as a youth ministry volunteer and in support of inner-city ministries. He likewise served at Camp War Eagle at the Jones Center.

"I primarily manned the rifle range and taught kids how to properly target shoot and shoot skeet," he said.

McKown wants to do all he can to further keep school students and staff safe.

"I wanted to be a part of the difference being made," he said of the district's decision to place CSSOs in its elementary schools.

Jason Scott serves as the Commissioned School Security Officer at Smith Elementary School.

"I am proud to have been assigned as a Smith Elementary Stallion," Scott said.

Scott, 47, has lived in Springdale for more than 20 years.

"I was raised in the booming metropolis of Star City," he said.

Scott wants to contribute to the safety of everyone associated with the school district.

"I am in full support of the CSSO program," he said. "As a father of a student and the husband of a teacher, I choose to support any measures to keep them safe."

Scott's wife, Kacee Scott, teaches fourth grade at Hunt Elementary School. She's served with Springdale Schools for 17 years.

The couple have been married for 12 years and have a daughter named Olivia, 9.

Healthy relationships with staff and students are key to the CSSO position.

"I want to develop relationships with staff and students that allow them to know they can do their primary jobs of teaching and learning." Scott said. "The CSSO program is a huge investment, and I want to represent the district in a positive way.'

Scott is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys kayaking, hunting and fishing.

"My main outdoors attraction is turkey hunting, which I do every spring with my dad and other family members," he said. "I enjoy the peace and beauty of nature, and I’m also really beginning to enjoy taking my daughter with me on new adventures."

Jason and Kacee Scott both serve the community however they can.

"We’ve packed snack packs, filled backpacks and worked with Samaritan’s Feet and several other groups as opportunities have arisen," he said.

Both are likewise heavily involved in their church, Phillips Chapel.

"I am on the security team there, teach a Sunday school class and lead a small group weekly," he said. "Kacee is involved in our nursery ministry, and we serve together on our youth board."