ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC)— Congratulations to Mykael Larkin, this week’s Golden Apple Award winner! Larkin isn’t a classroom teacher, but his impact on students both inside and outside of school has earned him much praise from his colleagues.

James Sheppard, Director of School Safety and Security, RCSD says, “He is one of our best SSO’s — school safety officers”

Larkin has been an SSO for 11 years in the Rochester City School District.

Last summer, while off duty, he received a phone call that changed the life of a former student.

“It was a situation where he received a call that a student was in crisis.  A lot of people might have just blown it off because they weren’t working, but he stepped right up”, says Sheppard.  

Larkin went to the student’s home at 10:00 at night and convinced that student to get mental health counseling after he was making threats on his own life. It all turned out OK because of the relationship and trust he had built with the student. Sheppard says, “establishing relationships because it’s not a matter of them having the authority to make the peace.  It’s about having the relationships to talk to the kids, calm them down, and convince them to continue with their education.”

Mr. Larkin did not like being in the spotlight when we surprised him with the award. He says of his job, “It’s just part of my life now.  I can’t let that go past so.” 

But he does like knowing he’s making a difference for the students at Northeast College Preparatory High School. “They became my kids, became my family so I just make sure they are good,” says Larkin.