SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — In the middle of San Marcos CISD’s Miller Middle School sits the library, the busiest area in the school.

“The library is the literacy hub,” SMCISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Cardona said.

KXAN met Cardona in the open space library as he greeted incoming sixth-grade students transitioning from elementary school to middle school.

“We want kids to check out books. We want kids to read. We want kids to be active learners. We want them to be self directed,” Cardona said.

When it comes to school safety, San Marcos CISD is doing something new this school year. Every elementary school will have a school marshal on campus.

“At the end of the day, I want parents to understand we are not arming teachers, that was never in the discussion here in San Marcos,” Cardona said. “We are pretty confident we have some exceptional individuals that have the law enforcement background that will benefit not only the kids but the staff and the greater San Marcos community.”

SMCISD already has school resource officers at every secondary campus.

“Safety is my number one. I kind of get rid of all the noise and do what’s best for children. This is just another step that we take in San Marcos — a multi-layered approach to make sure that our kids are safe,” Cardona said.

The recent legislative session gave local school boards control on whether to implement school marshals on campuses.

While Cardona applauds that measure, he said more needed to be done at the state level to help educators.

“Honoring the work that teachers do,” he said. “Teacher pay. I think that’s something that needs to be addressed. We’re a great state, you know, we have a great economy, we have a great workforce. We need to have the same in terms of the resources, the investments that we make, in the people in the district in this state.”