Not Just Skating By: School Resource Officers replace student's skateboard

Savannah Vasquez
Presley Foster tests out her new Sector 9 long board.

It was a sad moment for nine-year-old Presley Foster last school year when she realized her skateboard was missing. Foster had ridden her skateboard to Destin Elementary School almost everyday of third grade, but in a moment of forgetfulness she left it behind, and it was stolen.

“I put it in the ramp and there was no way to lock it,” she said. “I left it at school and forgot about it until the next day and somebody took it.”

It wasn’t long before the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Destin Elementary School Resource Officer Sonya Shepard began to hatch a plan to turn that sad moment into a happy one for Foster.

“We just felt it was right that she got her skateboard back,” said Shepard. “She was so patient and never complained. She deserved it, it wasn’t her fault.”

Over the summer, Shepard and her supervisor OCSO Sergeant Lenny Holloway banded together to make arrangements to purchase Foster a new skateboard. The two deputies used their own money to plan a surprise for the nine-year-old to pick out a new skate board in the beginning of the school year.

“We picked her up in the patrol car after school last week and went to the Plus Skate Shop in Fort Walton Beach so she could pick it out,” said Shepard. “The owner there, Larry, helped us to make it affordable.”

Today Foster is the proud owner of a brand new Sector 9 long board and is once again riding to school almost every day. This year however, she said she will make sure her skateboard is taken care of while at school.

“I put it in the front office now,” she said.

When asked if she had learned a lesson from the experience, she replied, “A very big one. To not bring something to school if you can’t lock it up.”

Foster said having a skateboard again was a good surprise as her former board held a special meaning for her.

“It made me feel very glad and very happy,” she said of the gift. “Thank you!”