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Beloved school security guard retiring after more than 20 years on the job

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Posted at 8:56 PM, May 31, 2024

CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) — Coronado High School held a big celebration for a beloved security guard who's retiring after more than 20 years on the job.

"1998-99 is when I started security full time," said Forrest Perkins.

Since then Perkins has spent his days on campus, greeting students, keeping them safe, and ensuring they follow the rules.

"Make sure the gates are locked. Make sure the kids are staying in class," he said.

Perkins, who's a San Diego native, is known for patrolling campus on his bike.

It was a gift by the class of 2013 for finding and returning students' stolen bikes.

But Perkins is more than just a security guard to students.

"He really talks to the students... bonds with us during break," said Grace Miller, a senior at CHS.

"Every single morning he says good morning to me while holding open the gate," said Bella Villarin, a senior at CHS.

After two decades, Perkins said it's time to retire. But the school couldn't let him leave without a proper send-off.

On Wednesday, students, teachers, and staff lined the courtyard with posters, cheering him on.

Perkins had no idea about the celebration.

"When I saw the kids lined up, cheering me on, I was like whoa," Perkins said. "It made me emotional, but I didn't cry."

It's a true testament to the impact he's made on these students and the school.

"A lot of the teachers, the principals, we've been here a long time together, but the kids I'll definitely miss," Perkins said.

Perkins' last day is June 13. He plans to take a road trip to New York.