DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- Wednesday marked the first day of class for students at STEM School Highlands Ranch, which just three months ago was the target of two suspected shooters who opened fire on campus, killing one student and injuring eight others.
Along with teachers and new classmates, kids all across the district will be accompanied by 28 new school resource officers — including here at STEM.
As the school year begins, there's one particular deputy who wants to assure parents their kids at STEM can feel safe again.
"I want parents to go back to work, knowing their kids are being taken care of," said Douglas County Deputy Gabe Uribe, whose serving asa the new school resource officer at STEM. "They need someone who can show passion right now and will help with the healing process. They’re still in that process."
That process began last May, following a shooting that took the life of STEM student Kendrick Castillo. Uribe says his goal is to offer protection to the students and to be a friend.
"I want them to enjoy their childhood. I want them to forget about somebody trying to hurt them," Uribe told Denver7.
Deputy Uribe spent the day trying to help kids forget. He came to the U.S. from Venezuela and has been a law officer since 2014. On Wednesday, he handed out pencils and stickers.
"Getting to know them, getting to know me and for them to adjust to my accent so they know what I say. Just have fun with them. That’s the most important thing," he said.
Deputy Uribe has also been known to bust out a dance move or two.
"Look at my sergeant, he’s recording this. This is going to the whole agency," he laughed while showing us some salsa moves
Parents and students say they're looking forward to meeting the dancing deputy.
"It’s great. I really do appreciate him being there, and that he can just make my son smile when he goes into school," said STEM parent Sandy Glaspie.
Her son Isaiah agrees.
"I’m thinking he will be a nice and friendly guy that we can all hang out with and talk with. During an emergency or something like that, I think he will protect us," he said.
Now this special law officer with the infectious moves says he'll do whatever it takes to make STEM School feel safe again.
"I want them to feel comfortable coming to me and interacting with me," said Uribe.