Former drug enforcement agent takes up teaching

Sanobar Chagani, Staff Writer

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_style” interval=”3″ images=”1505,1504,1503,1502,1501,1500″ layout=”3″ gallery_style=”1″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” img_size=”900×600″][vc_column_text]Drug dogs and K9 officers surrounded the Louisiana auto shop. Over the last few months the owner had been visited by an airline hostess who had regularly purchased cocaine from him. Now she stood across from him and revealed her true identity as a federal agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Even though former DEA agent Michelle Deaver has been teaching law enforcement at Career Center East for three years, she still remembers the challenge and excitement of that mission which were common aspects of her job.

“I wanted to do something that was challenging, something that was exciting, and something that not a lot of women had gone into,” Deaver said. “It gives you real satisfaction to know at the end when somebody goes to jail, that you did the whole thing.”

Deaver described the challenges of being one of the only women in the field. She often struggles to gain admiration from her team, especially as a supervisor.

“As a female it’s very different, because you have to have the male agents respect you and you want to be part of them, so you have to work very hard to earn their respect,” Deaver said.

After realizing that she wanted to impact students’ lives and give back to the district, Deaver decided to put away her badge and begin teaching. Similar to her work as an agent, Deaver tries to incorporate the foundations of teamwork, communication and organization in her classroom; however, she said she had to change her personality when she began teaching.

“You learn a different side of people,” Deaver said. “When I’m in DEA there is no room for sympathy, so I changed a lot when I came into teaching.”

Deaver said she expects students who enter her class to leave with a sense of confidence. She tries to encourage students by presenting herself in a self-assured manner and relates the curriculum to real life experiences.

“You feel confident every day and you carry yourself as a higher person because you learn about law and what people do for the good side instead of just hearing about the bad things on the news,” Corey Smith, a student in Deaver’s class said.

Deaver recalls moments when she was nervous about her work, but she overcame those challenges by learning to plan ahead of time. In her classroom, Deaver tries to give students a realistic view of life and the field of law enforcement. She emphasizes team work in class, such as sitting in groups and working collaboratively. Smith agrees that “the team effort is apparent every day.”

“She treats us more like a professional class compared to other teachers who might constantly watch you.”Kumel Waliany, a student in Deaver’s class said. “She will try to help you the most.”

Deaver said she hopes to change the lives of her students and prepare them for the future no matter what they decide to do.

“I would like them [the students] to be better people than when they came to me,” Deaver said. “I want them to be better people whether they go into law enforcement or any other public safety. I know that I made a difference in the DEA … and I feel great about my career and I want the students to feel like that.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]