North Allegheny hires retired Coast Guard commander to lead school security team |
North Hills

North Allegheny hires retired Coast Guard commander to lead school security team


The North Allegheny School District has hired a retired U.S. Coast Guard commander with private sector security experience to serve as the district’s manager of school safety and security.

Michael D. Evanish held a number of supervisory positions with the Coast Guard including deputy incident commander for New Orleans, La. during Hurricane recovery operations following Hurricane Katrina. He also was a project manager for a multi-million dollar bridge demolition and construction project and served as commander of an anti-terrorism team.

In the private sector, Evanish was branch manager for U.S. Security Associates in Wheeling, W.Va., where he oversaw 150 security officers and developed site security plans. He most recently worked as the the operations manager for PalAmerican Security in Robinson.

Evanish, who was hired by the school board at its Sept. 26 meeting, will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of building security, emergency preparedness and student safety for the district. He will earn $79,000 a year.

“Mr. Evanish’s experience in site security, planning, and safety operations will greatly benefit the North Allegheny community,” said Superintendent Robert Scherrer. “His wide range of expertise will provide a unique perspective to the district’s existing security plans, which will enhance and strengthen the robust plans currently in place in order to maintain a safe school environment.”

Evanish has a bachelor of arts degree in English writing with minors in French and psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. He also is a graduate of the Coast Guard Officer Candidates School in Yorktown, Va.

Hiring a school safety and security director is part of a stepped-up effort to guard students and staff from danger.

In April, the district announced plans to launch a school resource officer program.

This summer, two veteran officers with the Town of McCandless police department were selected to serve in the program’s first resource officers.

Discussions about enhancing school security measures began following the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were killed and 17 others injured.

In the past five years, NA has spent an estimated $2 million to improve security in its buildings, according to district officials.

With more than 8,400 students, North Allegheny is the largest suburban school district in Allegheny County.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368 or [email protected] or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.