Ninety-three fifth graders at Mary E. Dardess Elementary School celebrated their successful completion of D.A.R.E. with a graduation ceremony held February 14. The program, taught by Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy Wendy Guntert, teaches students not only about substance abuse, but also how to make safe and responsible choices in all aspects of their lives. Congratulations to all our graduates!
To graduate, students completed their D.A.R.E student planners, showed good attendance throughout the program, demonstrated good behavior by following the D.A.R.E rules, stayed substance free, and wrote essays about what they learned and how they will use that knowledge in their lives.
Student representatives from each 5th grade class – Lauren Elcox, Mira Peirce, Samantha Silver, and Jaidan Blair – hosted the graduation ceremony from the CHS stage. They were joined onstage by school officials and Deputy Guntert, as well as Sheriff David Bartlett, School Resource Deputy Kelly Rosenstrach, and other representatives from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
In recognition of having written outstanding essays, Josiah Eugenio, Landen Thompson, Meta Mae Mountain, and Brody Casivant represented their respective classes by reading a portion of their essays to the audience.
In their D.A.R.E. planners, students studied facts about drugs, bullying, communication skills and peer pressure. They also tackled several situations involving the D.A.R.E. Decision Making model to help them practice making wise and informed decisions. The six students from each class with the most complete planners were also recognized at the graduation:
From Ms. Grill & Ms. Wrigley’s class: Shaleah Brockett, Madisyn Domkoski, Lily Hall, Jesse Nerney, Ellery Pierce, Nathaniel Tibbitts
From Mrs. Hogencamp’s class: Rylie Barden, Zanna Jo Brightly, Paxton Brownell, Kody Goodrich, Larissa McMann, Mason Morehouse
From Mrs. Murray’s class: NaTasha Drumm, Zach Ellis, Elexis Keller, Karina Lezama, Ethan Smith, Hunter Welch
From Mrs. Reichardt & Mrs. Thorpe’s class: Breannah Clark, Ava Ford, Alexis Nehmens, Elijah Schor, Jordan Stocklas, Annabelle Wright
Student Mason Morehouse wrapped up the program by reading a thank you letter to Deputy Guntert and presenting her with flowers on behalf of the 5th grade.
Funding for D.A.R.E. at MED is provided by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.