Fifth graders at Northside Elementary School received pins and certificates during the annual DARE graduation ceremony held Monday
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by DARE Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.
Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at Northside are:
Kyle Justice from Amy Raymond's class
Calista Jones from Amanda Griffith's class
Hailey Redmon from Carrie Gottlied's class
Jayla Angaran from Ginger Wenger's class
Taylor Reeder from Alisha Day's class
Kelsie Merriman from Cheryl Vance's class
Evin Dyer from Melissa Hale's class
Kelsie Merriman was the over-all winner and she read her essay during Monday's program. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Merriman gets to keep "Daren the Lion" the DARE Mascot. Judge Bratten Cook II also presented her a check for $50.
Sheriff Patrick Ray, who spoke during the DARE graduation, told the students that "D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort by the DeKalb Sheriff's Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community. "I ask you today students, to take this valuable information and apply it to your lives, now and forever."
Others who made remarks during the ceremony were Northside Principal Dr. Gayle Redmon, Judge Cook, and Director of Schools Mark Willoughby.
Other public officials on hand for the DARE graduation program, in addition to Sheriff Ray and Judge Cook, were County Mayor Mike Foster, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, and Trustee Sean Driver.
(BOTTOM PHOTO LEFT TO RIGHT: Chief Deputy Don Adamson, Taylor Reeder, Kyle Justice, Calista Jones, Kelsie Merriman, Evin Dyer, Hailey Redmon, Jayla Angaran, Sheriff Patrick Ray)