Knox County Schools selects Marine as new chief of security

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Schools will have a new chief of security to begin the 2021-22 school year. Superintendent Bob Thomas announced Thursday that Jason Periard has been named the district’s new chief of security. He replaces Gus Paidousis, who will be retiring at the end of July.

Periard will start his new position on Aug. 1. He comes to Knoxville from California. He is vice president of the Community Security Initiative at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, which oversees security for more than 100 schools.

“Protecting the safety and security of our students, employees and school communities is vitally important,” Superintendent Thomas said. “I believe that Mr. Periard’s experience in law enforcement, program development and project management and his commitment to fostering strong relationships between educators and security professionals make him an outstanding choice to lead the Security Department.

“I also believe that Mr. Periard’s experience in diverse, multi-cultural communities and his emphasis on earning public trust will support our district’s efforts to promote a positive culture and make all students feel welcome.”

Periard previously served 21 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps, where he served in numerous security and law enforcement leadership positions throughout the world. He was a special agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and an investigations officer for the USMC Criminal Investigation Division.

“I am thrilled and honored for the chance to serve with Knox County Schools,” Periard said. “Safety is an essential part of the district’s educational mission, and I look forward to helping foster a vibrant environment that supports learning in each of the district’s schools.”

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