Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Beyond the Badge: One SBISD Campus Officer’s Promise to Serve, Protect and Mentor Students


While Nancy Avila has only been with Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD) for a year, she’s quickly become an integral part of the district, ensuring the safety and well-being of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students and their teachers at Spring Branch Middle School.

Drawing from her own experiences as a mother to her 7-year-old son, Nancy understands the immense relief parents feel when they see a police officer offer whose sole job is to protect their children while they are in school.
“When parents send their children to school each day, I want them to feel confident about leaving them in our care,” said Nancy. “I know that upon seeing a police officer when I drop my son off at school, I can breathe a huge sigh of relief, and I want Spring Branch Middle School parents to feel the same way when they see me.”

More than a police officer

Nancy sees her job extend beyond that of a law enforcement officer and serving as the guardian of the hallways. Coming from a large family with seven brothers and sisters, she’s always had a genuine desire to protect and nurture. Her career allows her to stay fit and personally connect with students. She recognizes that not all students have a loving and supportive home environment, so she hopes students see her as a mother or big sister figure who is always there to help them.
“I feel a deep sense of responsibility to offer the kids I see in the hallways with a sense of support, making sure they know I’m on their side,” said Nancy.
In talking to Nancy, she has found her true calling, even though it took a while for her to get there.

Taking a leap of faith

Before joining SBISD, Nancy spent 14 years as a surgical assistant to an ophthalmologist. From there, her path led her to jobs in special education and property management, all experiences that eventually led her to her current role as a campus officer.
In Nov. 2021, Nancy went through a divorce and knew it was time to make a pivotal change in her life. She took a leap of faith and joined the police academy in Jan. 2022 at age 43. Before she graduated, Nancy landed a job with SBISD.
“My journey reflects that life is about trial and error. You’re not always going to land where you are going to stay, which is something I try to impart to the students I interact with daily,” said Nancy.
“If you’ve had a bad day or week, tomorrow is another day and presents new opportunities.”
She hopes her unique journey to becoming a campus officer will inspire others as she strives to break stereotypes surrounding law enforcement, understanding that the profession can sometimes have a negative reputation.
“In recent years, law enforcement has gotten a bad reputation, and I want to do all that I can to rebuild so that we are seen as helpful and compassionate community partners,” she said.

A team of like-minded professionals

Like many of her fellow SBISD Police Department co-workers, Nancy said she is proud to be part of a fantastic team of like-minded professionals who share a passion for helping Every Child survive and thrive at school.
“It is evident that all of us on the law enforcement team share a passion for serving and protecting; it was something I noticed almost immediately,” said Nancy. “Together, we work tirelessly to build strong bonds within the department and with parents, students, teachers and staff. The collaboration between all of us creates an incredible force, able to accomplish whatever we set our minds to.”

Breaking barriers

In forging those relationships, Nancy has found that being bilingual helps her relate to a diverse range of parents and students, helping to build bridges and cultivate mutual understanding.
“Breaking language barriers helps to ensure the success of our students and reassures parents they have been heard,” said Nancy. “Spanish-speaking parents breathe a sigh of relief when they discover I can understand them and vice versa. It helps put us on the same page and put them at ease,” she said.

A powerful mantra

Winnie the Pooh once said, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” This mantra is how Nancy lives out her life and encapsulates her belief that people possess untapped strength and resilience – something she discovered in herself and a lesson she shares with students.
She also wants students to understand the depth of their power and the impact it can have on others.
“You never know if your actions will impact others. One small act of kindness can make a huge difference in the lives of others,” said Nancy.

More than a paycheck

You can tell that Nancy is not just a campus officer, and her job represents more than a paycheck. She is a friend, a female role model, and a mentor who cares deeply about Spring Branch Middle School students and their families.
“I want parents and students to see me as a partner and someone who is on their side and has their best interests at heart,” said Nancy.
With one and a half years of service in SBISD, Nancy hopes to grow with the department and see her role evolve. For now, she remains steadfast in her mission of protecting and nurturing the students in SBISD, leaving an indelible mark on the community she serves.
For more information on joining Team SBISD, click here.