Fifth graders at Northside Elementary School received medals and certificates during the annual D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony held Wednesday.
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by D.A.R.E. 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:
Carlie Sexton from Amy Raymond's class
Paige Barber from Amanda Griffith's class
David Martinez from Carrie Gottlied's class
Bella France from Kristen Hankal's class
Katelyn Henry from Alisha Day's class
Rainey Tiner from Josh Odom's class
Verenisse Quezada from Melissa Hale's class
Kaitlin Ferrell from January Agee's class
Carlie Sexton was the over-all winner and she read her essay during Wednesday's program. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Sexton gets to keep "Daren the Lion" the D.A.R.E. Mascot. General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II presented Sexton a check for $50.
D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort by the DeKalb Sheriff's Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community.
Other officials present for the ceremony were Northside Principal Dr. Gayle Redmon, Assistant Principal Beth Pafford, Guidance Counselor Dr. Linda Bush, Director of Schools Dr. Danielle Collins, County Mayor Tim Stribling, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, Trustee Sean Driver, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, and Smithville Alderman Gayla Hendrix. Other members of the Sheriff's department were also in attendance along with Sheriff Patrick Ray and Chief Deputy Adamson.