January 19, 2018

D.A.R.E. Graduates

Posted on April 22, 2017 by in Hometown, News, Ohio

Danbury Elementary principal Dan Humphrey takes a selfie with the first graduating class of the D.A.R.E. program at Danbury Middle School. -- register photo/WANDA CHANDLER

MARBLEHEAD –– Danbury Middle School sixth graders graduated from D.A.R.E. recently.

Right: Danbury Elementary principal Dan Humphrey takes a selfie with the first graduating class of the D.A.R.E. program at Danbury Middle School. — register photo/WANDA CHANDLER

D.A.R.E. which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education is a substance abuse prevention educational program that assists in preventing the use of controlled drugs, memberships in gangs and violent behavior.

The program was instructed by Danbury Township Police Officer Brad LaMarca, who graduated from a D.A.R.E. program more than 20 years ago. “This graduating class was very special,” LaMarca said “it is the first Danbury D.A.R.E. class that was in conjunction with the Danbury Police Department.”

The students that attended D.A.R.E. acquired skills that will fulfill a safe and healthy life and also the “tools” that are needed if they are faced with difficult, harmful and a conflict situation. “They will find themselves in this situation at one time or another,” LaMarca said “they will now know to define the problem, assess it and respond by applying the real resistance strategies.”

Two students were recognized as D.A.R.E. essay winners. “It was a difficult choice,” LaMarca said “everyone worked very hard on their essays.” The two students who were recognized were Faith Shortridge and Kamil Stephens.

“The leaders that we have on the stage today made this program possible,” LaMarca said “They were all supportive and instrumental with the implementation of our D.A.R.E. Program.”

The students were asked by LaMarca what their goals as 6th graders were. Some of the responses were to attend Ohio State University, play college basketball, attend Yale University, Florida State University, University of Kentucky, school teachers, zoologist, veterinarians, nurses, FBI agent and a police woman.

“When I was introduced to D.A.R.E. as a student 23 years ago I admired my D.A.R.E. officer,” LaMarca said “Perkins Township Police Officer Christopher Hilton (now Sandusky County Sheriff) I admired his leadership and his role as a D.A.R.E. officer and told myself in the 6th grade that I was going to be just like him.”

LaMarca was approached by Danbury Township Police Chief Mike Meisler of having a D.A.R.E. program at the school. “I was speechless,” LaMarca said “to took me over 20 years to accomplish my 6th grade goal.”

Sheriff Chris Hilton, LaMarca’s D.A.R.E. officer and Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten were in attendance for the graduation and stressed to the students of staying focused as temptations will come to them but to remember what they have learned.

Also in attendance on stage were Danbury School Superintendent Dan Parent, Middle School Principal Joe Miller, Elementary Principal Dan Humphrey, Danbury Township Police Chief Mike Meisler, Danbury Township Detective Sgt. Mark Meisler and Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten.

The students receiving their diplomas were Blake Barker, Alia Christiansen, Sarah Collins, Adrianna Cutcher, Olivia Dove, Landon Dunlap, Kenzie Franks, Owen Frattaroli, Hayden Gough, Justin Hefflinger, Chloe Klein, Guy Maltese, Jacob Mischler, Joshua Mischler, Maverick Murray, Brinkley Paul, Trenton Rigdon, Madyson Ritz, Natalie Rose, Maria Sanders, Faith Shortridge, Josephine Skinner, Lawrence Stanley, Canna Stephens, Kamil Stephens, Lilian Veverka, Aspen White and Alexis Wunder.

This article and photo by Wanda Chandler is from Sandusky Register. More photos of the graduation can be viewed at sanduskyregister.com.