The Texas City ISD Board of Trustees took a big step this week in enhancing school safety in the District by approving the hiring of Mike Matranga, a former U.S. Secret Service agent, as the TCISD executive director of security and school safety. This is a brand new position.
“We live in a society where people no longer feel like it’s safe for their children to go to school,” said TCISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rodney Cavness. “It’s time to do more and we’ve selected a highly qualified individual to lead us in this next phase to effectively address our security and safety needs.”
The District contracts with the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office for school liaison officers and that will not change. This new TCISD administrative position will be responsible for coordinating a comprehensive school safety program, which includes working with local law enforcement agencies and our school liaison officers.
“The community approved our bond election earlier this month that has $6.5 million earmarked for safety and security. Mr. Matranga will be able to use his expertise to conduct a thorough audit and assessment of our facilities and grounds so that we can spend that money wisely to eliminate potential risks,” said Cavness.
Matranga, a 1995 graduate of La Marque High School, is returning to the community he grew up in. He was selected to serve as a team leader of the United States Secret Service Counter Assault Team, which is the elite team that was trained to deploy should someone actively seek to harm the president of the United States.
In addition to this protection, Matranga was responsible for the advance logistics for presidential visits all over the world. After serving as a counter assault operator for four years, he transferred to a more visible role in the presidential division of the Secret Service. He also has experience as a special agent and criminal investigator for financial crimes. For the last two years, he has been a special agent conducting criminal and civil investigations for the Bureau of Land Management in Las Vegas. His experience here also includes working in surveillance, information gathering, undercover operations and with confidential informants. He also works with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and Domestic Terrorism. Matranga began his law enforcement career as an adult probation officer in Galveston County after graduating from Sam Houston State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
“We all have a duty to our kids to keep them safe and provide safe schools and this is a priority in Texas City ISD,” said Matranga. “But school safety is more than just making sure doors are locked and the facility is secure. We’ve got to look at behaviors and why kids are expressing themselves the way that they do. We really need to have open conversations with students, parents and educators about where we are in society and how we get back to the basics like having respect for each other.”
“TCISD is extremely fortunate to get Mr. Matranga in this new role,” said Cavness. “He was responsible for the safety and security of President of the United States! Not only is he highly trained, but he’s a hometown guy wanting to make a real difference in the community through our schools. I have full confidence that he will lead the way so that each school continually meets our security expectations and the expectations of our families.”
Matranga said, “There will be some things that we will be able to do immediately that will make a difference. Working on the behavior aspect will take more time. But I’m committing myself to the students and staff in TCISD and I’m anxious to return home with my family to the community where I grew up.”
He will be returning to the area with his wife, Melissa, and two daughters.