EASTON, Pa. - At the start of the pandemic, the hallways within the Easton Area School District went quiet.
The bells didn't ring, and the lockers were empty.
But the students were still there, even if they weren't exactly there.
"I think one thing that's forgotten with the COVID pandemic, is that a lot of our kids have lost the safety net that our schools have provided for them," begins Scott Casterline.
Easton District school resource officers John Remaley and Scott Casterline's jobs suddenly became something more.
"It's become - I don't want to say 24 hours a day - but certainly has extended the day," says John.
While a lot of students were forced to stay home and try to focus during Zoom classes and not be distracted by TV or a pantry full of junk food there were the other students, the ones who maybe don't always have those basic wants, or even needs.
John and Scott made it their mission, to find those kids.
"Making sure they're safe, making sure they're being taken care of, they're being fed. Their welfare comes first, plain and simple," John says firmly.
They made sure they had computers, Wi-Fi access, and just the simple opportunity to talk to somebody, if they needed to.
"There's a lot to be said for talking and communicating face-to-face with the students, as opposed to everything taking place via Zoom," Scott explains, adding, "There's certain things that we may be able to talk about, get them to open up about with their basic needs and it's gone a long way to meet them and have them feel connected with the school again."
These two have worked together for 25 years. Long before they were at this job together, they were in other law enforcement jobs together.
"Really appreciate having him as a partner here," John says as Scott then jokes, "Now can we give the off-camera answer?"
This pandemic has made us think about a lot, and you have to wonder if these two, weren't supposed to be here - this year, in this moment, for this exact special reason.
"In this day and age, when you're hearing so many negative things, I wish every school had a John Remaley and Scott Casterline," begins Principal Charlene Symia.
Principal Symia, who nominated the pair, says they are proof that no matter how empty the hallways, people like John and Scott made sure to fill the gaps.
"I think the positive that came out of this whole negative situation, was that we saw the goodness of humanity and how everybody came together to help our children and to help each other," she says proudly.
There's no doubt, students have suffered because of all this. But John and Scott hope that just maybe, a few have had to suffer a little less, simply because they tried to do a little more.
If you know someone at your school who deserves to honored with this award, please visit the Golden Apple page on our website, and fill out a nomination form.