PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — His voice has been bouncing off the halls of Vancouver schools for about two decades, but this year, a well-known district resource officer is officially retiring.
Parents dropping off their kids at the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics may only see him as they drive by, but the students walking by are definitely hearing District Resource Officer Tony Jacobs — who seems to know them all.
“I’ll just be walking to school and he’ll just start singing to me and it kind of brightens up your day,” freshman Caroline Carder explained. “It’s really cool.”
The beloved DRO first discovered he had some vocal chops when he was in high school in Seattle — and a now-famous musician noticed him singing in the halls.
“This one guy walked by and says, ‘Hey, we got a choir class if you’re interested in coming to choir,’ and that guy ended up being Kenny G,” Jacobs said.
That’s right — the Kenny G.
When Jacobs became an officer for the Vancouver School District two decades ago, he kept singing in the halls all while forming a special relationship with the students he’d see day in and day out. He’s even put on concerts to raise money for food donations, ensuring kids in the district had food at times school wasn’t in session.
“A lot of students want to go to him for their problems or support,” sophomore Tae’jianna Burnett said. “I think it’s good students have somebody they feel they can go to and find joy in.”
Another student named Ryan Perlick told KOIN 6 News he thinks Jacobs is perfect for the school.
“He brings the same energy a lot of the students have,” the upperclassman said. “Just a great guy.”
He’s also a guy who makes surprise performances whenever possible.
“He’ll sneak into the classrooms — especially choir — and he’ll sing and stuff,” the school’s enrollment clerk, Kaly Howell, stated.
This school year is Jacobs’ swan song, as he’s set to retire in June.
“We understand, we will be supporting him… but, big shoes to fill,” VSAA Principal Lori Rotherham said.
He’s hoping to still collaborate with the music department for future performances, but the hallways will be a bit quieter in his absence.
If you want to hear more of Jacobs’ voice, he sent us the audio from a recent studio session that you can listen to below.