The fifth grade at Mary E. Dardess Elementary School celebrated their successful completion of D.A.R.E. with a graduation ceremony held April 7. The program, taught by Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy Wendy Guntert, kicked off this past October. Deputy Guntert visited the school once a week over a twelve-week period to teach about drug and tobacco use and give students skills to make safe and responsible choices in all aspects of their lives. 84 students total graduated from MED’s 2016-17 D.A.R.E. program. Congratulations to all!
To graduate, students needed to complete a D.A.R.E student planner, have good attendance throughout the program, demonstrate good behavior by following the D.A.R.E rules, stay drug free, and write an essay about what they learned and how they will use that knowledge in their lives.
As part of the ceremony, 28 of the graduates were recognized for having either an exemplary planner, an exemplary essay, or both.
5th graders Katelyn Thomas, Zoey Palubeckis, Owen Zaik, and Owen Everett had the honor of hosting the graduation from the stage, based on their all having completed exemplary planers and essays.
In recognition of having written outstanding essays, Ryley Livingston, Nathan Opshanski, Maya Narofsky, and Sacha Backer each got to read to their essay to the audience.
Five additional students from each homeroom were recognized for having excellent planners.
From Mrs. Grills Class: Olivia Hanson, Kimberly Lackmann, Moon Ojha, Helen Tassinari, Jacob Taylor
From Mrs. Hogencamp’s class: Charlie Brooks, Alexis Meyers, Tyler Newton, Tori Riddick, Tate Van Alstyne
From Mr. Kole’s Class: Cooper Casivant, Sarah Harrison, Sophia Rivera, Emily Scheriff, Willow Visconti
From Mrs. Murray’s Class: Lily Schermerhorn, Jenna Palubeckis, Karlee Kratt, Alaina Graziano, Emilee Booy
Funding for the program is provided by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Along with Deputy Guntert, Sheriff David Bartlett, and School Resource Deputies Todd Hyson and Toby Van Alstyne joined school officials and the graduates onstage for the ceremony. Students' families were invited to be part of the audience and celebrate with their graduates.