Who is the mystery man?

Mixed martial artist Tanner Thomas is Rogers’ new security guard.


Photo by Claudia Sarin

Tanner Thomas is young, but he doesn’t want his age to be important.

Previous security guard Danny Wolfe was a big part of the Rogers community. The students loved him as well as the faculty.  

But, who is this new man?

Wolfe’s departure for Emerald Ridge has created an opportunity for 22-year-old Tanner Thomas, who is the new security guard here. 

Thomas is an aspiring mixed martial arts world champion who looks at Rogers as an opportunity to be a part of a welcoming community. 

Gary Jeffers, a staff member who works closely with security, has expressed how kind Thomas is and how, through his young age, he’ll be able to connect and understand students in a way that security guard Connie Richardson and himself just wouldn’t be able to. 

“My first impression was that he was a super nice young man. He really cares about kids (and) he really wants to be a part of what’s going here at Rogers,” Jeffers said. “We’re excited to have him. He’s faster than Connie and I.” 

Thomas is currently keeping himself very busy with work here, but he also has another job as a membership salesman at the YMCA and, on top of all that, training as an MMA fighter.  

“It is stressful. It’s kind of like two worlds honestly,” said Thomas. “So, I wanna have a spot where it’s a like a stable working environment and then I’ll go on to do whatever I do, training or working out.” 

He plans to stay here as long as the community continues to welcome him. The only time he can see himself leaving this position is if his hobbies take off. For now, he just wants to grow and experience a calmer environment. 

Having been used to having older faculty members who can easily gain authority as well as respect, Thomas doesn’t think his age will make much of a difference.  

“I honestly don’t even think that my age really matters. The thing is I naturally am a respectful human and so I’m not going to come off at a student a certain type of way or anything like that. I’m very reasonable,” Thomas stated. “I want people to know that they can always just come up and talk to me, chop it up with me whenever.” 

Said student Alex Que: “From what I’ve seen and noticed, he doesn’t really meddle with students or staff too much. He seems very respectful.” 

Through the little time he has been here, Thomas is trying to connect and get to know the students a little better. So far, he has become very well acquainted with the sports program. Next year, he plans on branching out more to other clubs/after school activities Rogers has to offer to get to know everyone. 

He would like to create a bond with students so they will have someone they can trust and someone they can go to for advice or even just to have someone to talk to. 

“Next year I will definitely be all of the place as far as engaging with the students,” Thomas said.