Last week, Mark McEwen did a handstand in front of the 21 third-grade students he teaches at J.L. Bowler Elementary School in Bunkerville.
He was teaching his students what it meant to be prepared by showing them how unprepared he was to go to gym class, because, of course, people don’t walk around on their hands.
In another life, McEwen thwarted a bank robbery on the Las Vegas Strip, apprehended a naked tourist in front of the Riviera, and was a member of Las Vegas Metro Police Department’s SWAT team responding to more than 150 calls involving hostage negotiations and barricaded subjects.
“I was in charge of gas and pyrotechnics, which was so cool. I shot machine guns, I was in charge of the stuff that blows up. … It was a lot of fun, so all of that stuff and then to come and do this,” he says.
Life sure is different now for the 55-year old former LVMPD officer, who retired in June after 30 years and, soon after, began his teaching job at the small rural Clark County school.
At heart, though, McEwen says he’s always been an educator.
“I seriously considered it out of high school,” McEwen says of teaching. During his 30 years in law enforcement, McEwen did plenty of educating. He served as a trainee officer and worked with the DARE program at J.L. Bowler for 15 years.