Milton Hershey School is Creating a Home for Success
Featuring Perry Tolbert, MHS Director of Campus Safety
As part of Milton Hershey School’s commitment to its students, staff, and the local community, safety has always been a top priority on the school’s campus. MHS is the only school, private or public, in the nation to hold dual accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies for its campus safety and public safety communications measures.
Led by senior director Rick Gilbert, the MHS Campus Safety team is a diverse group of individuals. They work collaboratively to create a safe home for the school’s more than 2,000 students who come from low-income families throughout the United States.
They patrol the campus, which spans more than 7,000 acres, 40 miles of roads, more than 180 student homes, and 40 administrative buildings, 24 hours a day, seven days a week—utilizing vehicle, bicycle, and foot patrols to ensure safety and connect with students, staff, and visitors.
Among the team is the director of Campus Safety Perry Tolbert who joined MHS in 2008 only a few months after retiring from the Pennsylvania State Police. Tolbert was looking for a new opportunity to make a positive impact.
“With my state police background I knew I’d be able to make a meaningful contribution to the school,” Tolbert said. “Being from a lower-income family myself, I also knew I’d be able to relate to the students here.”
He shares his goal is to ensure students have a safe learning environment that fosters success. “I didn’t feel safe in my neighborhood growing up, but my parents always emphasized education. Because of that, I know how valuable education is to long-term goals regardless of a person’s economic status.”
As serious as he is about protecting campus, he is just as serious about supporting students. Tolbert is a regular at school events, from football and softball games to dance recitals and vocal performances.
“I want to show these kids they are supported—seeing a familiar face in the crowd does that,” he said.
Tolbert also mentors students with law enforcement aspirations—helping them gain industry-recognized certifications and honing their crime scene investigation skills for the SkillsUSA competition.
“I’ll always do whatever I can to support our students and ensure our campus is safe.”
Milton Hershey School is carefully following federal and state guidelines, CDC considerations, and MHS-established health and safety protocols to keep our campus a safe, nurturing, and healthy place. Any group photos of unmasked subjects were taken prior to the face coverings mandate.