Balancing Discipline and Fun: Officer Suarez Does it All


Gabriela Blanco

Though often found in his office, Mr. Suarez works all around Gables, depending on the situation.

As school resource officer, Jandro Suarez’s role is to protect and serve the students and staff of Coral Gables Senior High; however, his tasks vary day-to-day. Each morning he directs traffic in the parking lot, ensuring the safety of those crossing the street. By noon, you can find him coasting the campus on his golf cart, herding tardy Cavaliers to class. And if at 2 p.m., Suarez is called to the scene of an offense, he is first to de-escalate the situation at hand. Balancing so many responsibilities, Officer Suarez has kept Gables in perfect harmony since 2020.

Suarez has the same jurisdiction as any other officer, from making arrests to issuing fines. However, working with high schoolers means his regulations and boundaries differ. While general police are quicker to impose punishment, Suarez works personally with the minor, finding the reasons as to why the transgression occurred to prevent any future wrongdoings. While cases may differ, he will then work to discipline all involved with the intention of protecting, issuing an adequate penalty if deemed necessary.

Like I said, I used to be a teacher, so I’ve always been around high school students. The kids keep me young. I play sports with them. I hang out with them. We trade shoes. We do TikTok videos. So I love working at Gables, and I love being around the students,

— Officer Suarez

“Most of the time, I like to be relaxed, and I want the kids to have a good time. You know, at the end of the day, they’re still kids, and they’re still developing. But when I tell them, ‘Hey, it’s serious. We have to get serious now,’ they should know to flip that switch,” Officer Suarez said.

Filling many shoes at Gables, Suarez had not always envisioned this as his future. Initially studying at Florida International University to become an educator, Suarez began teaching math at Southwest Miami Senior High. While juggling the role of strength and conditioning coach, he has always been a mentor to the children he works around. So, it was no surprise when Suarez decided to replace the “Mr.” in his name with “Officer”.

One night when Suarez attended a Southwest Miami Senior High game, he noticed the school board officers scouting out the field, and felt inclined to start a conversation with them. When approaching this group, he was advised to join police work, given his previous time around students. Hesitantly, he applied, trained, and ever since 2018, he has been a school officer.

“All throughout my sophomore year, every morning, I’d go through the student parking lot. I’d be greeted by him every day. He always makes sure the kids are safe and even likes to crack jokes with us. I think that plays a big role in his job, which is not only to protect us but to create bonds to make us feel like we can trust him to keep us safe,” junior Alejandra Dellano said.

After his first year of police work, Suarez turned to Gables, marking 2022-23 as his third year watching over the school. As if always on his daily agenda, he takes his time to talk to everyone, waving and smiling at the familiar faces he sees daily. Gables takes pride in creating a safe place for students, and Suarez, along with our many support staff, creates an environment where kids can come to school every day and feel not only welcomed but also protected.