DARE Graduations Held at Northside Elementary and DeKalb West Schools

April 28, 2008
Dwayne Page

One hundred ninety two 5th grade students graduated from the DARE Program at Northside Elementary School last Tuesday.

Top Essay winners from each class were:
Ms. Bell’s Class- John Bradford
Ms. Raymond’s Class- Haley Davis
Ms. Wenger’s Class- Lenzi Dickens
Ms. Gottlied Class- Ashland Dillon
Ms. Day’s Class- Ale Maciel
Mr. Crockett’s Class- Rayanna Baker
Ms. Griffith’s Class- Lance Ball

The winner for the best essay from the Northside 5th Grade DARE Class was Destiny McCardell from Ms. Vance's class. Destiny was presented a $50.00 check from General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook II, a certificate and pin, and the DARE mascot stuffed animal "Daren the Lion".

Meanwhile forty two 5th grade students graduated from DARE at DeKalb West School on Wednesday.

Top Essay Winner for Ms. Watson’s class was Lydia Trail and the winner for the best essay from the DeKalb West School 5th Grade DARE Class was Bruce Wilson from Ms. Caplinger's class. Bruce was presented a $50.00 check from General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook II, a certificate and pin, and the DARE mascot stuffed animal "Daren the Lion"

During the ceremonies at both schools’ Deputy/Dare Officer Tim Hearn admonished the students to always remember what they have learned about staying drug free. “Students by participating in today’s graduation ceremony, you will be joining millions of other DARE graduates who have taken the pledge to stay drug free and avoid violence. Your hard work and dedication in the DARE Program has provided you with life long skills needed to help you resist the use of drugs and avoid violence. Your commitment to remain drug free is something that no one can take from you. I challenge you now to take the knowledge and skills that you have learned throughout our time together and use them to remain true to your commitment to avoid drugs and violence.”

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby urged the students at both schools to have faith in law enforcement. “Law Enforcement officers are your friends and I challenge you, when you marry and have children, to teach your children to trust law enforcement officer’s. I also challenge you to stay drug free, it will make your life a whole lot easier.”

Sheriff Patrick Ray encouraged the students at both schools to resist peer pressure and strive to make good decisions. “D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort made by the DeKalb County Sheriff‘s Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community— all four working together to help you make the right choices concerning drug use. Over the last few weeks, Deputy Tim has taught you lesson plans on how to focus in four major areas: First, he has provided you accurate information about drugs, alcohol and tobacco; Second, he has taught you good decision-making skills. Third, he has shown you how to recognize and resist peer pressure And fourth, he has given you ideas for positive alternatives to drug use."

"Deputy Tim has also shown you ways of positive self-esteem, and how to make positive decisions on your own. Through role-playing, lecture, question and answer, and use of the specialized D.A.R.E workbooks, you have been taught the negative consequences of drug use. I ask you today students, to take this valuable information and apply it to your lives, now, and forever.”

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